Dover, Herbert William (87)
Of Glendale and Laguna Beach. Herb was born November 13, 1924 in Evanston IL, and died January 19, 2012 at his home in Laguna Beach after a short illness. He met his adored wife, Nancy, on a blind date and they were married for almost 50 years until her death in 2000. They had one daughter, Carolyn. Together, Herb and Nancy traveled extensively, scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef, and journeying to Papua New Guinea, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many other exotic places.
When Herb was a boy in Evanston, his mother had a vegetable garden that was constantly being raided by the older neighborhood kids, so Herb built an electrified fence around it. Needless to say, his mother was horrified, as were the shocked children. This seemingly foretold his profession of electrical engineer. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. While at Northwestern, he worked as a lighting designer for their theatre program, illuminating Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde and Patricia Neal who were theatre students at the time.
He served in the Navy during WWII and witnessed the atomic bombing of Bikini Atoll aboard an aircraft carrier. After the war, he worked for RCA in Chicago, starting in the early days of live television as a camera operator. He later worked all over the country installing and starting television stations, the final one being KMIR in Palm Springs in 1968. But he was proudest of being instrumental in helping start the Armed Forces Vietnam Network in Saigon, which broadcast to service personnel throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
After he retired from RCA, Herb and Nancy started boating, piloting their “CoastWatcher” in Predicted Log (Cruiser Navigation) races up and down the Southern California coast. In 1995, Herb won the National Predicted Log racing trophy, the NAI, held that year in Chicago. Herb was a member of Santa Monica Bay Power Fleet, Southern California Cruisers Association and North American Cruisers Association, and was honored in 2003 by NACA with the Gandelman Hall of Champions Trophy for his significant contribution to the development of Cruiser Navigation Contests. He was also honored as “Yachtsman of the Year” by the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs in 2004. Herb, with his daughter Carolyn at the helm, competed in races to Catalina, Newport Beach, San Diego and Ensenada.
Herb is survived by his daughter Carolyn Dover Bent, her husband Thomas Bent, MD and his granddaughter, Katie.
Two celebrations of his life are planned. Sunday, Jan. 29 at his home in Laguna Beach, and Feb. 12 from 3 5 at California Yacht Club, 4469 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. For information, email CarolynBent@cox.net.