Howard R. Shifflett (1927 - 2014)

  • "The world has lost a passionate teacher, a force of nature,..."
    - John Roudebush
  • "So sorry to read of Mr. Shifflett's passing. I was a..."
    - John Shepard
  • "It was years ago that Doc Shifflett impacted my life. I..."
    - Christine Beshears
  • "Dr. Shifflet inspired me to become a Geologist, and..."
  • " We first met Howard when he was our Good Times Travel..."
    - Peter & Virginia Petrelis

November 19, 1927 - May 25, 2014 Howard was a bigger-than-life man, a teacher for over 50 years who inspired thousands of students with his knowledge and unbounded enthusiasm. Born in Portland, Oregon, he was the son of Richard Shifflett, shoemaker, toy maker, inventor, and Minnie, a homemaker and German immigrant. After high school he turned down an opportunity to play professional baseball and chose instead to join the army. When discharged he went to college under the GI Bill. He received a bachelor's degree in teaching at Central Missouri State University. Later he earned master's degrees from Cal State University Long Beach and University of Utah, and a PhD in geomorphology from Washington University in St. Louis. He taught at all school levels, teaching in junior high and high school before joining the staff at Long Beach City College (LBCC). In addition to his full-time duties at LBCC, he also taught classes and was a graduate student advisor at Cal State University Long Beach, and led science instruction workshops for secondary school teachers. He was honored at the First Annual Outstanding Colleague Awards at LBCC for his scholarship in the field of geology, his long and inspired teaching career, and his leadership as department chair of the physical sciences for over 25 years. Howard published several peer-reviewed papers on seismology including his work in the Mecca Hills. He was especially proud of his contributions to the LBCC Summer Honors Program where his National Foundation Grant funded classes introduced gifted high school students to the field of geology. After retiring from teaching, Howard became a tour guide for a local travel agency. His tours were always quick to fill up as his reputation grew as a knowledgeable speaker who made geology accessible and interesting. With his wife Joan, Howard was an avid traveler. He visited exotic places like the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, and the Serengeti, including every continent except Australia. He even toured geological sites in Kamchatka in decrepit Soviet-era military helicopters. He sailed on the Nile, the Yangtze, the Neva, and of course the Mississippi River. Howard always loved sports. He played baseball and basketball in high school and later in life played tennis almost every day well into his eighties. He loved the Dodgers and Kings and never wanted to miss a game. Howard died peacefully at home in Huntington Beach, CA surrounded by family after a short illness. He is survived by Joan, his wife of fifty years, his brother Roy, children Guy, Jeff, Mark, Karen, and Alec, and granddaughters Marly and Katie. He will be missed by all who knew him. Memorial donations may be made to the LBCC Foundation, 4901 E Carson St, Long Beach, CA 90808. Viewing: Sunday, June 8, 1:00-4:00PM, Heritage-Dilday Chapel, 17911 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Funeral: Monday, June 9, 9:30AM Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 14072 Olive St, Westminster, CA 92683 There will be a reception after the funeral. - See more at:
Funeral Home
Heritage-Dilday Memorial Services
17911 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 842-7771
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 31 to June 1, 2014
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