March 19, 1926 – July 30, 2013
William “Bill” Hart was born in Sacramento on March 19, 1926, and died in Davis on July 30, 2013. Bill attended Sacramento schools and, upon graduation from high school, joined the U.S. Army. Following military service, which included duty in Japan right after WWII, he attended UC Berkeley and UC Davis, obtaining a degree in agricultural engineering.
Bill worked in Hawaii for six years, developing mechanical sugar cane harvesters before returning to UC Davis and UC Berkeley for graduate studies. He earned a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and taught irrigation at UC Davis for several years, then became an associate professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Bill returned to Davis in 1978 to go into business with his brother Sam after they invented “The Claw,” which is still used in Davis and other municipalities to collect loose yard waste. After Bill and Sam licensed their invention in 1983, Bill became a professor of irrigation at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Additional career highlights included working on irrigation projects for USAID in Nigeria, Pakistan and Egypt.
Bill retired in 1990 and lived the rest of his life in Davis, where his two German shepherd dogs, Bev and Troy, gave him great pleasure. He was active in his church and Davis Community Meals.
Bill was preceded in death by his brother Sam and is survived by his sister-in-law Nan Hart, nephews Charles and Paul Hart, nieces Marjorie Ahl and Jenny Moody, and numerous grand- and great-grandnieces and nephews.
A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at the University Retirement Community, 1515 Shasta Drive in West Davis. The family asks that any remembrances be made to Davis Community Meals or the SPCA.