Mr. William Dettman

  • Died: August 25, 2016
  • Location: La Quinta, California

Rose Mortuary & Crematory

66424 Pierson Blvd.
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Tel. (760) 251-7673

Tribute & Message From The Family

Bill Dettman, the most generous, caring man, quietly passed away on August 25, 2016 after a three month battle with cancer.

Bill always greeted everyone he met with a smile and he was quick with his own style of jokes, cracking up restaurant staff, especially when they'd ask if he had reservations. He would reply, "Yes, but we came anyway".

In the hospital when the doctors would ask him how he was feeling, he would reply, "With my hands".

He never complained, never asked why. He always had said that God has a plan for each of us and it seems that he accepted that.

Bill was an avid golfer and a great chess player. He had an ongoing 45-year match with his best friend in Vancouver, Frank Hook.

Anyone who knew Bill knew his love of cars, RV's, boats, planes, trains and any kind of technology. He would research anything and everything and always negotiated the best deals and believed in having the best not only for himself, but for those around him.

He also loved Hawaii where he had a home on the Big island for several years. He lived in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach prior to relocating to La Quinta in the early 2000's.

Bill was born in Chicago but raised in West Covina from the age of four. He joined the Ice Capades at 19 and traveled the world with them, until 1973 when he settled in Vancouver, Canada taking on sound and lighting for groups such as Heart and Tina Turner at the Oil Can Harry nightclub. Following this, he started one of the first mobile DJ businesses and grew that into Pro Sound and Stage Lighting, which this year, is celebrating its 40 year anniversary. Bill sold Pro Sound in 2005 and tried retiring but his entrepreneurial spirit would not allow him to.

He met his wife, Sheri, in La Quinta in 2005 and three months later they were married. When they went to get their marriage license, the clerk said to Sheri, "He's never been married, never had kids?" and Bill's reply was always that he had been waiting for the best. About 5 minutes later the clerk's system crash and she joked that it was Bill's information that did it.

In 2007 Bill and Sheri started Sheri Dettman & Associates and quickly became one of the top producing teams in the desert. Bill stayed behind the scenes and developed the state-of-the-art marketing that drives the business. Always ahead of the curve, he was the first to use drones to produce real video, with Sheri doing the narration. As one of Bill's friends recently said to Sheri, "Bill does the work of four people"!

Bill was appreciated by his friends and associates for being so very generous and kind-hearted and for kick-starting so many people's careers. His honesty and integrity was no surprise to those who knew him. As his accountant said to Sheri, "Bill always did the right thing even if it meant that he wouldn't profit as much. He didn't even try to bend the rules. He was always honest."

Bill loved to travel and he and Sheri enjoyed memorable trips to Italy especially. Bend, Oregon was another of their favorite places to visit in the summer.

Bill and Sheri adopted two cats from the "orphanage" in Bend the year they were married and the kitties were always a source of joy to Bill.

Many thanks to all of Bill's friends that came to see him and share with him how much they loved him. Up until the end Bill was giving fist bumps.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Perry & Evelyn Dettman and his sister, Sandy Tannahill. Survivors include his wife Sheri Dettman and his 7 nephews.

A memorial service will be held this fall in La Quinta, CA. Memorial tributes can be made to an organization that Bill deeply believed in:

Bill was one of a kind and will be missed and remembered by everyone who came in contact with him.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Hi Sheri, I was at the NAMM show recently in Anaheim and heard the sad news of Bill's passing.
I use to work along side with Bill at Pro Sound & Stage Lighting in the purchasing dept. in the mid 90's.
It's true, he always greeted you with a smile on his face and if there was ever an issue in the office, he would not hesitate to help you if you needed his advice.
It was always funny to see Bill ask those applying for a job to try and roll up a speaker cable properly. those who succeeded got the job. easy as that.
He created an environment at work where many 'til this day are still very close friends.
He really did inspire those around him to achieve excellence in their lives.
He was a good man I will always remember.
God Bless,

Posted by Dave Lopez - Eagle Rock, CA - Coworker   January 30, 2017

Sheri - I'll never forget the first time I met you and Bill at RiverRim in Bend, Oregon. As a real estate professional myself, I had asked Bill if he could provide marketing services for me. I was so impressed with your on-line marketing. He replied and chuckled, "My fee would be outrageous". That is an understatement about one of his amazing talents. Everything about your marketing has always been truly "the best".

I'm so sorry for your loss. God's blessings to you and your family. May you continue to shine, as I'm sure Bill would expect... and when I'm ready for that part-time home in the desert sunshine, I'll be in touch.

Posted by Arlene Edwards - Bend, OR - Acquaintance   December 07, 2016

Bill, a good guy!
Ice Capades broomball 1970-71.

Posted by Mike Edwards - Calgary - Friend   September 28, 2016

I met Bill at the West Covina Ice Arena in 196...7? 8? He and I were skating friends for only a short while until I joined Ice Capades and was delighted when he also joined. I remember him as a warm and friendly guy who was lots of fun and always smiling.

My heart goes out to Bills family - may your memories of him give you warm "hugs" you all your days.

Posted by Gail Barnhill (nee Berger) - Tucson, AZ - Friend   September 28, 2016

I worked with Bill in Ice Capades for many years and remember Bill as a kind gentle giant, always with a smile on his face. I am sure he will be dearly missed and I hope you can take comfort in knowing he had a full life and had you , Sheri, to share in his pleasures in that life. At times like this I can't help remembering how fragile life is. I will remember Bill as truly one of the "good guys". My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and Bill's family.


Posted by Darlene "Pepe" Anthony - Los Angeles, CA - Coworker   September 28, 2016


I heard of Bill's passing from the Ice Capades Alumnai group.
I did not know Bill as it appeared that he was involved in the
show after my departure. I also live in La Quinta and I wish I
had met him.

God Bless and rest his soul and Blessings to you and yours.

Tommy Sheridan

Posted by Tom Sheridan - La Quinta, CA   September 27, 2016

Dear Sheri, we were deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved Bill. You two were a beautiful team together in life and business. We are truly sorry for your loss.
With warmest regards,
Annie & Gene Nathenson
LaQuinta, CA

Posted by Annie Nathenson - LaQuinta, CA - Friend   September 22, 2016

I am so sorry for your loss. I remember when you met Bill, he was a very sweet and kind man. I know he will be missed. Please remember, I'm here for you, old friend, whenever you need someone.
Much love,

Posted by Kim Ray - La Honda, CA - Friend   September 18, 2016

Dear Sheri,

We've known you and Bill a short time, but shared some fun evenings in the Griffin Club. Bill was always fun and kind and so proud of you. That was clear in every conversation and he always talked about you with a twinkle in his eyes.

We know you have incredible memories to treasure and many friends surrounding you. Please know that we are thinking of you and here for you anytime.


Patti and Dan Carson

Posted by Patti and Dan Carson - LaQuinta, CA - Neighbor   September 12, 2016

Just learned of Bill's passing and wanted to send my deepest condolences to those who are left behind. I cannot imagine the loss you are feeling. He was a kind and good man, and now he's somewhere where there is no pain. So sorry.

Posted by Kirianah Klinginsmith - Palm Springs, CA - Acquaintance   September 12, 2016

Awesome any restaurant that I ran into Bill and Sheri I would see them say a prayer together then kiss before they ate dinner ! Love at its very best for each other ! Kay B

Posted by Kay Bastasini - La Quinta, CA - Friend   September 04, 2016


Dearest Sheri -
Obviously I never met Bill, but by his picture he looks so kind, sweet, and loving.

You had 11 glorious years with him and I am sure created a million memories.

May they be lodged in your mind and heart forever as this man loved you, took great care of you, and stood by your side!

All my love with God's richest care and blessings over your life forever!


Posted by Jacki Moen - Los Angeles, CA - Friend   September 03, 2016


We are so shocked and saddened by Bill's passing. You were a great team together and we will miss him. We had much in common and hoped to see more of you in Canada as we know Bill wanted to wander our way in your Coach. We will look for you in the Desert when we get back for the season.
Don and Carol

Posted by Carol and Don Seable - Fairmont Hot Springs - Friend   September 03, 2016

I always enjoyed talking cars and airplanes with Bill. Especially the early days of aviation in Hawaii. A mutual interest that made sharing time and stories so much fun. That will be my memory of Bill. God Bless, Mick

Posted by mick mathewson - indio, CA - Friend   September 03, 2016


Bill, as time goes on, I will light many candles in your memory, as the kind and caring son-in-law that you were to me. The last day that I saw you, I thanked you for taking such good care of my daughter the past 11 years. You will always have a loving place in my heart.

Posted by Frances Hicks - Laguna Niguel, CA - Mother   September 03, 2016


I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Although I have never personally met Bill, I have heard such wonderful comments about him.

My sincere condolences to you and your family.
Diane Clervi

Posted by Diane Clervi - La Quinta, CA   September 02, 2016

My dear friend Sheri, im so very sorry for your loss.

Posted by Annette Weaver - Hemet, CA - Classmate   September 02, 2016

I'm very sorry to hear of William's loss. He sounded like a really wonderful man with a great sense of humor. We need more people like him. Sorry for your family's loss. We wish you peace. His suffering is over now.

Posted by Katy Washburne - Gilbert, AZ - Acquaintance   September 02, 2016