Passing of Bill Alders

William Edward Alderson 3/26/26 – 9/22/13 Bill passed away on Sunday morning the 22nd in Jackson, CA.  Bill was born in Baxter Springs, Kansas and migrated west to follow the crops from California to Washington with the rest of those who did during the Depression.  Bill spent more than 35 years with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection first in Orange County and finally retiring from the Tuolumne Calaveras Unit in 1981.


Bill and his wife Martha lived for the last 40 years in Pioneer, CA.  He enjoyed growing Christmas trees, traveling, thinking about catching big fish and visiting friends and family. Relationships he developed over a vast career in the fire service continued into retirement.  A master woodworker and tinkerer.  Bill enjoyed his retirement.


Bill is preceded in his death by his only daughter Nancy Jean this last November.  He is survived by his wife of 69 years Martha and his two sons Rod and Jeff. Granddaughters, Jennifer and Francis Alderson of Washington and Jamie Lee Alderson of Fairfield, CA.


Bill’s career started in Orange County in 1945 as a Forestry Firefighter, Forest Fire Truck Driver, and Forestry Foreman I.  He was instrumental in the conversion of used trucks and returned from World War II military equipment into fire trucks for the Orange County Fire Department. Bill helped construct most of the Fire Stations and infrastructure in the fire department from the ground up.  Even hauling most of the adobe to construct the fire stations.  Bill helped engineer, construct, and maintain more than 300 miles of “truck trails”, fire roads and fuel breaks in Orange County. Bill promoted to Assistant Ranger in 1962 and was assigned to the East Assistant Ranger District making his home in Trabuco Canyon until 1979 when he transferred to the Tuolumne Calaveras Ranger Unit at Altaville and finally the San Andreas Battalion. As with most men during the invention of the Division of Forestry, innovation and a can do lifestyle was common. Dad told me in the ‘40’s, the Ranger in Charge would call the fire station on the CDF phone line and personally dispatch men and equipment to the fire. They had no assigned days off. When Bill first started they were building the fire apparatus in the shops at headquarters from used just returned from World War II military vehicles. Dispatching and communications were handled by CDF telephone wire, constructed by CDF personnel. When he retired, the fire service had evolved to infrared technology, turbo prop and jet air tankers, truck companies and paramedics. What a career, what a fireman, and the best father we could have.


Memorial Services are pending Cards can be sent to:

Martha Alderson

P.O. Box 386

Jackson, CA 95642


Rod Alderson


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