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.