William Adolph “Bill” Farnbach died surrounded by his family after a long, happy life on December 1, 2021. He was born May 4, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois to Frederick and Irene (Heckel) Farnbach. He spent the first four years of his life in the Chicago area, where his twin brothers, George and John Farnbach were also born. In 1944, Bill and his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Bill grew up and lived until he finished high school. Bill was a good student and won the Arizona State Math Teachers’ contest in his junior year and, despite having a terrible flu, came in second in his senior year. He also received an honorable mention in the Westinghouse Talent Search and received one of three regional merit scholarship from California Institute of Technology (Caltech).’
Bill entered Caltech in 1958 where, while he was attending school, met his future wife, Rosalie Young at a local church dance. On January 30, 1959, Bill was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been an active member of the Church ever since. He remained active throughout his life and served his church in many callings.
In 1961, Bill transferred to Brigham Young University to be near Rosalie. On September 7, 1962 Bill and Rosalie were married and sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. After 59 years, Bill and Rosalie are still married and looking forward to an eternity together. While they were at BYU, their first son, William Karl, was born in Phoenix, Arizona in the fall of 1963 during a work break.
Bill graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Engineering Science degree (a 5-year program) in electrical engineering in 1964. After he graduated, the family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Bill worked for Hewlett-Packard for all but one year (1966-1967) when he returned to BYU to earn his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. While Bill and Rosalie were in Colorado Springs, four more children were born to them; Frederick “Rick”, born summer of 1965; Ronald, born spring of 1968; Michael, born spring of 1973; and Amelia, born winter of 1975. While working for Hewlett-Packard, Bill designed sampling oscilloscopes and developed Hewlett Packard’s first two logic analyzers for which he was awarded four patents.
Bill was equally busy volunteering at church serving as an assistant scout master and scout master for 10 years, manager of the welfare apple orchard in Penrose, Colorado for 3 years and as Senior President of the Seventies Quorum (for the local church stake).
In 1977, Bill arranged a one-year sabbatical and a fellowship from HP and returned to BYU as a visiting assistant professor for one year. This allowed Rosalie to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, keeping a promise he made to her before their marriage.
Because Rosalie was a full-time student, one of Bill’s most cherished accomplishments was when he became Mr. Mom. He survived by applying sound engineering principles to this task:
Every Saturday morning Bill would pile the dirty clothes into his Travelall and head for a laundromat conveniently located between two supermarkets. He would put his laundry in as many washers as it took to wash everything at once. While the laundry was washing, he shopped at one supermarket, then he ran back to the laundromat and put the clean clothes into as many driers as it took. He repeated his shopping spree at the other supermarket while the laundry was drying. Thus, in less than three hours, Bill had both the weekly laundry and grocery shopping done!
After lunch, Bill and all the kids sat in a circle in the living room watching Star Trek. Bill would throw every kid’s clean clothes to him or her. This party-like atmosphere made folding the clothes fun, so it went very quickly. (His children are glad he thought so.)
The last problem to solve was the “orphan sock”—the sock without a mate. The solution was the orphan sock drawer. At the end of clothes folding, all orphan socks were compared to the orphans in the drawer; any that matched were paired and returned to service.
After Rosalie graduated in 1978, Bill and his family moved to San Diego, California where Bill became chief engineer of Wavetek. After leaving Wavetek, Bill worked for several years as an independent consultant. He then joined Dr. Design, where he worked for several years until he started his own company, Farnbach Design Incorporated. It was here that Bill invented his most lucrative patent, the logic fault detector in his garage. Later he went to work for Vativ Technologies, where he worked until he retired.
Bill’s life was finally complete when his last child, Crystal was born in San Diego, California in the Winter of 1983.
In the course of his career, Bill received a total of nine patents relating to his electrical engineering inventions and wrote many articles on electrical engineering. Bill enjoyed his 15 years serving as a volunteer worker at the San Diego Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the most. During this time, he learned how to perform ordinances in multiple languages including Spanish, German, and American Sign Language.
Bill enjoyed the out-of-doors and went on many hunting and fishing trips, though he wasn’t necessarily always successful in these endeavors. In Arizona as a youth, Bill fished for trout and catfish. He also hunted jack rabbits, cottontails, mule deer and javelina. In Colorado, Bill took his family trout fishing in the streams nearby: the favorite was “Brookie Heaven”, a small stream full of hungry brook trout that the kids loved to fish. Bill also found good fishing on the North Platte River, within an hour of work. While living in San Diego, Bill often went javelina hunting in Arizona with his boyhood friend Jerry Mayberry.
He also enjoyed photography and took many photos of landscape and his family and friends in the Southwest and San Diego.
By 2013, Bill was having trouble navigating the stairs in their two-story house in San Diego and California politics were looking bad—and very expensive, so Bill and Rosalie decided to move to a one-story in Queen Creek, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix on the southeast corner of Salt River Valley, into a very new subdivision.
As soon as the family was settled in Queen Creek, Bill was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, or CIDP (the cause of his troubles with climbing stairs.)
Doctors treated his CIDP with some success, however Bill wasn’t satisfied with his progress and he prayed for a more effective medication might be found. Be careful what you pray for— because it wasn’t until he was diagnosed with another significant illness that his prayers were answered. The new diagnosis required treatment with a new drug Rituxan, which not only resolved the current issue, it also significantly reversed his CIDP. This allowed him to enjoy doing more things with his family. (He saw this as a miracle. His family and doctors thought so too.)
Bill is survived by his wonderful wife Rosalie, one brother, John Farnbach, one sister, Shirley Mae [Johnson], his six children, Bill, Rick, Ron, Michael, Amelia, and Crystal; eighteen grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother George, who passed away in April 2020.
Services will be at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 41246 N Barnes Parkway, Queen Creek Arizona. Viewing will be from 9:00am-9:45am in the Relief Society Room. Funeral will be Friday December 10, 2021 at 10 am. Funeral can be viewed virtually for those unable to attend personally. If needed, please contact a member of the family for a link and instructions to view.
Interment will follow at San Tan Memorial Garden in a private ceremony.