To Our Friend Alma


This page is a work in progress

Short Biography

Born: November 28, 1915 in Visalia, California.
Parents: Jerry and Anne Phipps
Siblings: Lois and Lewis (faternal twins-2 years younger)


Graduated UC, Berkeley, B.A. French (year unknown - but  during the depression).

Taught high school in Sierraville, CA and Los Molinas, CA before coming to Red Bluff.

Met husband, Edward Mathew Liebersbach at dance in Los Molinas in 1943-1944 (?). They were married June 21, 1944 in Chico, CA.

Alma and Edward bought and operated a 160 acre dairy ranch just northeast of Red Bluff on the south bank of the Sacramento River (with 1-2 miles of river frontage) just upriver of and across from Ide Adobe. While living on the ranch they had two childern, Dave-1946 and Barbabra-1948. During this time Alma was a stay-at-home mom/ranch hand.

In August 1951 Edward was killed in a farm accident during a harvesting operation on a farm/ranch about 5-8 miles south of Los Molinas. Facing a large mortgage and no way of operating the ranch by herself, Alma sold the ranch and moved her family into Red Bluff.  They rented a large house on the east side of Main Street about half way between the Chicken Shack and Growney Moters. She went back to teaching high School-this time at RBUHS. Alma's father died of TB five months later and her mother (known by all of the family as 'Grandma') became part of the family for the next 25 years helping to raise Barb and Dave.

Alma began her RBUHS career as a French teacher, but was soon asked to also teach Spanish classes.  She had never taken or spoken Spanish, much less taught classes in that language.  Stepping up to the task, every night before class she would learn the lesson she was to teach the next day-going through her first year of teaching Spanish by learning Spanish one night before her students would learn it.  At the end of that year she was fluent in both French and Spanish.

Alma soon became involved in another aspect of high school teaching that she was not trained for, but that she felt would be very rewarding-counseling.  To become certified as a counselor she took correspondence courses from UC Berekely, working nights and weekends to complete them; and spent a couple of summers taking classe at Chico State. She became certified while already holding a counseling position at RBUHS and went on to counsel several classes-each 4 years at a time.  She would always say that the best class she ever counseled was RBUHS class of 1964!  Dave and Barb heard it many times.