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Dr. Phyllis Marguerite Dabbs


12/05/1923 - 03/25/2015 Obituary
Dr.  Phyllis Marguerite Dabbs Obituary
Dr. Phyllis Marguerite Selby Dabbs died peacefully on Wednesday, March 25, at her home in Riverside, California. She was 91. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 25, at 1 p.m. at the
Bakersfield Racquet Club.
Born December 5, 1923, in Akron, Ohio, she was the youngest of the three children of Phyllis Barbara
Sabin Selby and Warren Fowke Selby, a prominent Akron attorney. She grew up in Akron, attended public schools, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech from the University of Akron in 1944. She went on to earn Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in speech and higher education from the University of Southern California in 1952 and 1961, respectively.
Dr. Dabbs began her 34-year career in public education in 1952 at Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, California, where she taught English and driver training, and served as the school librarian. In 1953, she became the assistant activities officer for what is now California State University, Los Angeles. While at CSU Los Angeles, she was the advisor for the women's program and the day and evening student councils, and planned and coordinated the student activities program. In 1954, she joined the faculty of Bakersfield College as a speech instructor and director of the forensics (debate) program. She became a professor of speech at Bakersfield College in 1965. She later served as chairperson for the Departments of Communication and Speech, Associate Dean of Instruction, and Dean of Certificated Personnel and Staff Development. She retired in 1984.
She enjoyed life as a member of the Bakersfield community for 58 years. Phyllis was an advocate of equality for all in the workplace and a supporter of many environmental, philanthropic, and educational organizations. A longtime member of the Scottish Terrier Club of California, she bred, raised, and showed Scotties throughout California. She was a lifelong bridge player who enjoyed what she called "party bridge" when she could no longer play competitive bridge.
She moved to Riverside, California, in May 2012 to be near her daughter. It was difficult for her to leave behind her many friends and the home she helped build with her then husband, Lowell P. Dabbs, and in which she lived for more than 50 years. Lowell Dabbs was also a teacher at Bakersfield College and they shared many happy times together during their 27-year marriage. In Riverside, she set a great example by staying busy, making new friends, and doing what she could to remain active as her abilities changed.
She was preceded in death by her brother, William Augustine Selby, who was killed in action during World War II while serving in the Pacific as a U.S. Army pilot; and her sister, Barbara Selby Williams, of Gladewater, Texas. She is survived by her daughter, Ellen Chafee Parker, and son-in-law, David Boyles, of
Riverside; and a nephew, James Sloan Williams, of Austin, Texas. She is remembered with love by family, friends, colleagues, and former students.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, the Scottish Terrier Club of California, or any group promoting the care and well-being of animals.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Apr. 19, 2015
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