SOURCE: Les Goldberg Public Relations

May 19, 2016 14:04 ET

Bill Sidnam, Long-Time Southern California Garden Columnist, Dies at 81

AUBURN, CA--(Marketwired - May 19, 2016) - Bill Sidnam, author of more than 3000 garden columns and feature stories over a 36-year period for Southern California newspapers and national magazines, has died at the age of 81 due to complications from a broken hip. 

When he wasn't wearing his journalism hat, he was an award-winning elementary school teacher in the Anaheim School District for 31 years. 

Sidnam began his writing career at the Los Angeles Times in 1975. He wrote 20 years for the Times, producing weekly columns including the "Kitchen Garden," "Garden Q&A," "Garden Jobs," "Garden Notes" and "Garden News," as well as more than 500 full-length feature stories. The Orange County Register published his "Backyard Farmer" and "Your Garden Notes" weekly columns and monthly "Garden Guide" features from 1977 until 2000, and the Riverside Press Enterprise ran a "Backyard Farmer" weekly column from 1979 through 2011. 

Sidnam also contributed the "Garden Sage" and "In the Garden" monthly columns for the San Diego Union-Tribune from 2000 to 2011. His monthly columns and frequent feature articles appeared in Westways, Orange County Magazine and Modern Maturity Magazine.

"Bill was the backyard farmer in real life," said Judith Sidnam, his wife of 59 years. "He loved growing things, especially unique and exotic varieties of vegetables and fruits. And we enjoyed travelling throughout the West Coast to famous gardens and wineries for stories. While Bill conducted the interviews, I took more than 15,000 horticultural photographs for his columns -- so we were a true team both at home and in work."

Sidnam earned a bachelor's degree and teaching credentials from California State University, Long Beach, and three master's degrees in Education, Social Sciences and Statistics from California State University, Fullerton. He is a former US Air Force Reservist.

Sidnam is survived by his wife, Judy; his three children, Elizabeth Sidnam, William Davis Sidnam and Roberta Carl; and six grandchildren. Born in Anaheim, Sidnam resided in Orange County until 1998, when he relocated to Auburn, Calif.

Sidnam will be buried next to his parents in Fairhaven Memorial Cemetery in Santa Ana.

Editors Note: Photos available upon request.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Liz Sidnam
    916-872-4422
    Dave Sidnam
    916-580-3475