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William J. Hines

August 11, 1959 December 28, 2023
William J. Hines
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Obituary for William J. Hines

Willy Hines, the executive director of Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis, Calif., a veteran of the Navy SEALs, an advocate for veterans and resident of Dixon, CA died Dec. 28. He was 64.

Hines joined the Navy in 1979. He completed radioman’s school and then was accepted into BUD/S School (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS) at the Naval Amphibious Base at Coronado Island, California. There, he underwent rigorous and intensive training in and out of the water before qualifying as a SEAL. He was assigned to SEAL Team 2 in 1980 and reached the rank of Radioman 2nd Class.

His SEAL experience took him all over the world, constantly training, working with allied commando units, and performing operations.

He completed his second tour in 1987 and received an honorable discharge. Typical of veterans of special operations, Willy never bragged about the medals he was awarded and for security reasons, did not discuss specific operations.

After his time in the Navy, he joined the Oregon National Guard and worked in photoreconnaissance. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Oregon State University in 1991 before spending the bulk of his career in agricultural field research in Oregon, North Carolina and California.

His work included plant breeding and other field operations for companies operating in Davis, Calif. He was also a research associate with the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. In later years, he served as director of operations for the Farmer Veteran Coalition, a non-profit that recruited veterans for careers in agriculture.

His current employer cited his “professional expertise” but, more telling, his “calm and kind manner, and willingness to help anyone with anything at any time.”

He lived a life in service of others and centered himself on his family. Especially his children, Olivia and Isabel. He nurtured their interests in art, design, and music. William often referred to his family as “the music of my life”.

William J. Hines was born in New York City in 1959, the son of the late Norman and Shirley Shultz Hines.

The family moved to Minneapolis and eventually, Burlington, Iowa, before settling in Eureka, Ill., in 1972. Hines was a 1977 graduate of Eureka High School.

A friend and classmate remembered him as the first long-haired kid in Eureka, a transfer from the larger town of Burlington, Iowa. He was different and yet he managed to be like Ferris Bueller, getting along with the many cliques typical in high school.

Hines was a talented athlete, and excelled in academics. In 1976 he was awarded an Illinois State Merit Scholarship. After high school, Hines spent a year as a foreign exchange student in Thailand. Later, he attended Illinois Central College.

Hines was a voracious reader of history, biography and novels. He was a drummer who played in his high school marching, concert and jazz bands. Still a teenager, he also played in a Dixieland jazz band featuring several Caterpillar Tractor Co. engineering executives in Peoria, IL.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Edith Dominguez, a Senior Manager at Genentech, and his children, Olivia, 20, and Isabel, 16. Also surviving are his mother, Shirley; sisters Lisa Hines-Berg and Allison; eight nieces and nephews; his brother-in-laws, Peter Berg, Ervey Dominguez; and sister-in-law Guimar DeVaere. He was preceded in death by his father, Norman.

The family will receive condolences on Friday, January 19th from 5-8 PM at Milton Carpenter Funeral Home, 569 N. First Street in Dixon CA. A Vigil of the Deceased and Rosary will be recited at 7PM.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 20th at 10AM, St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1791 Marshall Road in Vacaville CA.


Friday May 17, 2024 at 10AM Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon CA.

Celebration of Life and Reception to follow.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 1/19/2024 5:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 1/19/2024 8:00:00 PM
Milton Carpenter Funeral Home

569 N. First St.
Dixon, CA 95620

Rosary 7:00 PM

Milton Carpenter Funeral Home
569 N. First St. Dixon 95620 CA
United States





10:00 AM 1/20/2024 10:00:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

1791 Marshall Rd.
Vacaville, CA 95687

St. Joseph Catholic Church
1791 Marshall Rd. Vacaville 95687 CA
United States





10:00 AM 5/17/2024 10:00:00 AM
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States

Cemetery Details


Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Final Resting Place

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States

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