Orange Coast College's Surf City connection


Over the years, we have looked at many of our fine teachers from both

Huntington High and at Central Elementary schools. This week, though,

we are going to look back at two members of the faculty of Orange

Coast College who resided here in Huntington Beach.

Patricia J. Moore believed the problems of family living have made

home economics one of the most vital studies and, for most of her

teaching career, would hold that to be true.

Moore began early in her study of the home in her home state of

Illinois. After her graduation from high school, she began her

training for her future career at Illinois State Normal School where

she majored in home economics.

To help pay tuition, Moore worked in the kitchen of a local

restaurant grilling hamburgers and making thousands of blueberry

muffins. She moved up to preparing many of the restaurant's gourmet


While college was out, she found work at a local furniture store

doing their bookwork and also selling furniture.

With World War II underway in the early 1940s, Moore did her part

for the war effort by helping at the local Red Cross canteen. She

served sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts to soldiers passing through

town on troop trains on their way to the front lines.

While she was in college, Moore worked at the college's radio

station producing programs geared toward women and the home. In one

of her programs, she gave advice to ladies on how to make their old

wardrobe look new and beautiful again.

After receiving her bachelor's degree and a Smith-Hughes

vocational credential at Illinois State, Moore began teaching home

economics and general science at Warren Township High School in

Gurnee, Ill. Having a good singing voice, she found herself singing

at many local weddings in Illinois.

When she came to California, Moore attended UCLA for extra

training. She came to Orange Coast College and taught courses in

clothing, food study and home management. At Orange Coast, Moore also

taught the fundamentals of family living and helped the college put

on banquets on campus.

Moore made her home in Huntington Beach at 754 Main St. She had a

special interest in experimental cooking and would invite her friends

over to try out some new dish.

Our second subject who taught English at Orange Coast also lived

at 754 Main St.

Louise E. Dowlen began her long road in teaching by attending

Randolph Macon College in Lynchburg, Va. After spending two years

there, Dowlen went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., to

earn her bachelor's degree in English and French. She would go on to

earn her master's degree at George Peabody College for Teachers in


Her first teaching assignment took her to the little town of

Belzoni in Mississippi to teach high school English and coach

basketball. Dowlen next taught English and journalism at a larger

high school in Clarksdale, Miss., for several years.

When World War II came, Dowlen also did her part in the war effort

by serving as a Wave in the US Navy in 1943. She was assigned to duty

in Washington D.C., after completing officer's training school and

helped set up a War Orientation Program for the Wave barracks.

When the war ended in 1945, Dowlen was assigned to the port

director's office in San Francisco and was placed in charge of the

Wave barracks. Later, she would be a U.S. Women's Reserve

representative and a public relations officer at the Naval Hospital

in Oakland. Dowlen left the service in early 1948 to teach English

and journalism in Madera.

In the fall of 1948, as Orange Coast College opened its doors for

the first time, Dowlen was one of its group of 40 original faculty

members. When not teaching in class, she traveled and took many

pictures and movies of her trips around the country.

We are so very grateful to teachers like Moore and Dowlen, whose

dedication to the teaching field and to our youth have earned them a

cherished spot in all our hearts.

* JERRY PERSON is a local historian and longtime Huntington Beach

resident. If you have ideas for future columns, write him at P.O. Box

7182, Huntington Beach, CA 92615.

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