Phyllis Topham passes away

Phyllis Topham

Phyllis Topham at the employee retirement event in 2009.


Phyllis Topham, a respected and retired member of the Shoreline Community College faculty, passed away Saturday morning, Jan. 11, 2014, following a battle with cancer.

Topham, 70, is survived by her husband, John James, also a retired Shoreline faculty member who was a key member of library and technology center faculty for many years.

Topham began at Shoreline in 1989 as associate faculty, earned tenure and retired with the title of Professor Emerita, as awarded by the Faculty Senate Council. At a retirement event in 2009, Topham recalled that she started, “When there were still carriage returns on campus.” Topham taught Computer Applications, Computer Science and “Micro Computing” at a time when Apple had just recently released the Macintosh II and PCs ran Windows 3.1.

At the retirement event, Topham said she was grateful to have had the opportunity to work with great people helping great students toward their goals. “One very enjoyable part of Shoreline Community College has been learning new ideas from students and coworkers almost every day,” she said at the time. As tenured faculty member, Topham participated on many committees, but cited a less formal duty as one of her fond memories; serving as chaplain to the Business Administration Division Softball Team “in a previous millennium.”

After retiring, Topham continued to teach developmental math part-time at the college. “Phyllis was a very practical person and a very kind person,” said John Backes, Acting Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “She managed to hook both of those together and her students were the beneficiaries.”

Service details are pending.

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