Local Imperial Valley pioneer and farmer William I. (Bill) DuBois died at his home early Friday morning, April 7. He was 100 years old. Services are pending.
DuBois was well-known in the Imperial Valley, especially in the agricultural industry. He farmed in the west Imperial Valley farm ground for 45 years, and later became very active in state land-use and water legislation. He worked for 20 years for the California State Farm Bureau, lobbying the state legislature on issues related to Imperial Valley agriculture, and state land and water use issues.
DuBois moved to Imperial Valley in 1918, at the age of two with his father and mother. They started a farming operation in the McCabe area, which he continued to operate until 1975 when he moved to Sacramento to work with the State Farm Bureau. DuBois served in World War II in the Navy in the Pacific Theater, and is survived by four adult children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
DuBois also served on various state and local agricultural boards and committees, such as the Imperial County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and the Irrigation Institute.
“I am very sorry to hear of the passing of my good friend Bill,” said Larry Gilbert. “I have worked with Bill through the Farm Bureau and especially on matters involving water since before 1970. He was extremely knowledgeable and always a sound thinker. I enjoyed his sense of humor and common sense. Bill was always a gentleman and it was a pleasure
working with him; I will greatly miss him.”
“Bill DuBois was an institution. His sharp wit and total recall served him well as one of the most respected water leaders in California for many decades,” said California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger. “He served California agriculture well through his more than 35 years as a CFBF employee and consultant, as well as his two stints as a member of the California Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
“I feel very privileged to have known and worked with such a special man as Bill DuBois, Sr.,” said Linsey Dale, executive director Imperial County Farm Bureau. “Bill’s mind was an encyclopedia of all things involving California water and one of the first people I would call for advice when historical questions came up. I was in constant awe of this man who sincerely loved to serve his church, community and the agricultural industry to the fullest. He was a mentor to many and highly respected throughout the state from Imperial County Farm Bureau to California Farm Bureau and on to American Farm Bureau. Simply put, he was an incredibly amazing man…A true legend. What a life he lived.”
According to friends and family, Bill always exhibited an exuberance and zest for life, and never allowed his chronological age to define him or limit his daily pursuits. His endearing personality made him an instant friend with everyone he met. He will be missed, but never forgotten.