Christine Dickson

Christine J. Dickson

Monday, June 8th, 2020
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Christine Janette Dickson
February 2, 1950 – June 8, 2020

Christine Janette Dickson passed away in Woody, California on June 8, 2020 after a courageous two-year struggle with a Glioblastoma brain tumor. Chris was born on February 2, 1950 to Robert Smyles (Bob) Dickson and Constance Lee Macdonald Dickson. Bob was a well renown Veterinarian in Kern County. She was the second child of 12 children. Chris attended the Panama Schools and graduated from West High School in 1968. During this time, she was extremely active in the Panama 4H Club, showing dairy cattle and sheep winning several showmanship and champion awards at the Kern County Fair, State Fair and Junior Cow Palace.

After attending Bakersfield College, she continued her agricultural studies at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins. Taking a break from college, she spent four years in British Honduras (Belize) as a Peace Corp Volunteer. Then she returned to Colorado State and earned her BS and Agriculture Education Teaching Credential in 1976. She was the only woman in her graduating class of Ag teachers.

Chris began her teaching career in 1976 at Arvin High School, then taught one year at Tehachapi High School. After marrying her husband, Ken Harris, in 1980, she taught four years at Hilmar High School.

Upon moving back to Bakersfield with Ken, she started the North High School Agriculture Department in 1985. During the next 35 years, she developed one of the strongest single person Agriculture High School Departments in the United States. Chris was, simply put, a great ‘student oriented’ teacher. She was a true role model for her students with an unbelievable work ethic. During this time at North High School, her students earned many state and national awards cementing a lifelong bond and mutual admiration between students and teacher.

After retirement, Chris stayed active, working on the ranch, teaching part-time at Paramount High School in Delano, and serving as an Agriculture Teacher Trainer in Haiti on a U. C. Davis project to develop an Agriculture Education Program for high school age Haitian students.

In 2017, Chris was the first female to be inducted into the CA Agricultural Teachers Association Hall of Fame. She joined her husband, her grandfather, H.K. Dickson, and her mentor, Lloyd Hokit in receiving this prestigious honor.

Chris is survived by her husband of almost 40 years, Ken Harris, and her brothers and sisters – Caroline Berry (Fred) of Visalia, Chuck Dickson of Bakersfield, Russell Dickson (Sue) of Bakersfield, Marnie Dickson of Bakersfield, Emily Peckham (Rich) of Lodi, Chet Dickson (Linda) of Granite Bay, Georgene Becerra (John) of Hollister, Patsy Templeton (Mitch) of Martinez, Robert Dickson (Jude) of Des Moines Iowa, Mickey Dickson (Brynn) of Aliso Viejo, Virginia Dickson of San Jose, and numerous nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.

During her two-year struggle with this cancer, Chris was strengthened and supported by a special group of friends -- Jane Cormier, Debi Del Papa, Cindy Gill, Jim Hudgins, Arlene and Tom Muzinich, Kathy Torchia, Sarah Webb, Kay Stockton Burkett, Lynn Martindale, Jennifer Wilke, Claudia Gray, Pat Hokit and Kim Clerou.

Her family would like to thank Greta Carver, Rachel Carver Bolender, and Carla Vara for their excellent care. In addition, Pauline Maxwell from Traditional Health Hospice and the staff at the Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center in Bakersfield – specifically Ather Mehboob, MD , Luis Mariscal, MD, MBA and John T. Heidrick, DO, FAAFP.

Services will be held on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10AM at the Celebration of Life Center at the Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest Bakersfield, 2739 Panama Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93313. For those of you unable to attend in person, you may observe the services online at this link:

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that remembrances be made to The Christine Dickson Scholarship for Kern County Ag Students Fund. Address: c/o Kern Agriculture Foundation BBQ Auxiliary , 2501 E. Orange Street, Shafter, CA 93263.

A ‘Celebration of Christine’s Life’ observance will be scheduled in the future. For those who would like information regarding details, please copy and paste the link provided below to leave your contact information.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, June 15th, 2020 | 10:00am
    Monday, June 15th, 2020 10:00am
    Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest - Celebration of Life Center
    2739 Panama Lane
    Bakersfield, CA 93313
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Greenlawn requires guests to practice social distancing and face masks/covering are highly recommended.


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Ricardo ODNE and Peckham, Latta, de la Cruz Families sent flowers to the family of Christine J. Dickson.
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Rocio Pineda

Posted at 01:11am
As a former student of Mrs. Dickson there are many stories and memories that I will carry with me. I first met her my freshman year and her class was the first one I had. But the school had made a mistake because I signed up for Earth Science not Agriculture. I was determined to drop the class as soon as possible but I had to wait until I spoke with the counselor. But after her class I was hooked. I continued in her class for all 4 years. She was a teacher that pushed me out of my comfort and would always find a way to get me involved with FFA events. She also went out of her way to connect with my mom in Spanish (well as much as she could remember), who spoke limited amount of English. My mom really appreciate this and she attended all the annual FFA banquets. But the one thing I will remember her was my senior year she asked the PTA for funding so that I could present my science project at the National FFA in Louisville, Kentucky. But she didn’t tell me that she was going to do this. She told me when they had granted me the funding and she contributed a small amount. This was such a grand gesture because she knew that my family would have not been able to pay for this cost. She was such an amazing teacher and really made an impact in the person that I have become. She will be truly missed.

Rocio Pineda

Claudia Gray

Posted at 02:10pm
Christine must have been about 11 years old when I started babysitting the then 9 Dickson kids. As they grew up she was the one I saw the most and was closest to. I loved her mother Constance, and whenever we visited Bakersfield to see her, Christine joined us. She kept me up to date on where all the siblings were and what they were doing.
Last fall Mike and I had lunch with Ken and Christine on their beautiful mountain; I’m so glad we got to have that visit! We caught up on all the brothers and sisters, and on how she and Ken were doing. Later, through phone calls, we shared memories and laughed a lot! I had chances to thank her for keeping in touch for so many years, and to tell her that I loved her. She was always a delightful, fascinating friend!

Ricardo ODNE

Posted at 12:49pm
In Haiti she taught me a lot as an agronomist trainer. I thank God for having met her on my way. May love and grace continue to rain on his family !!!
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Robert Flores

Posted at 11:33am
Christine was a leader among her colleagues in the profession. She served in a variety of capacities. Chris knew that she had a tremendous responsibility to serve her students by being involved in decisions at the local, regional, and state level. The decisions beyond her local level would have a lasting impact on her program. She worked toward excellence; the status quo was never good enough. She never shied away from speaking up and offering a thoughtful comment or asserting her position on a subject whenever necessary. Her legacy lives on in all of the people whose lives she touched. She was truly a teacher of teachers and a faithful friend to so many. Christine Dickson will be remembered for her many contributions.

David DeSilva

Posted at 05:16am
I am so very sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person. I will miss you Christine. We had a wonderful time sharing stories about your great work in Haiti. Thank you for including me in the project. The Haitian staff thought the world of you. You are one of the best in Ag education! May the Grace of our Lord shine upon you and your family. Prayers and blessings as you are now with the Lord. Ken, please call on me if you need anything. David DeSilva

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