Phillip Bebb: Ohio U professor slain by his own son

Historians in the News

Colleagues of a slain Ohio University history professor remembered him this week as a genial man who loved his subject and conveyed that passion to his students.
Phillip Bebb, 66, was stabbed to death Monday at his home in Athens. His son, a 32-year-old graduate student, is charged with the killing.

Mark Ellwood, a 30-year teacher at Thomas Worthington High School, said he caught his love of history in Bebb's introductory western civilization class.

By the time Ellwood graduated in 1971, he was hooked. After a school trip to Europe with Bebb and another professor, he recalled, "I began to recognize just a little bit about how limitless the study of history is."

After becoming a teacher, Ellwood stayed in contact with Bebb and always found him generous with his time. At Worthington, Ellwood carries on his mentor's legacy by taking advanced-placement history classes to Europe every other year.

"The thing that I remember the most is that you could not, unless you were a hardened rascal, sit in his class and not get excited," Ellwood said.

Bebb took early retirement in 2004 but still taught an occasional class.

Gifford Doxsee, a history professor at OU until 1994, had an adjoining office to Bebb's for years but lost touch after retiring. A few days before Bebb's death, the friends ran into each other in an Athens restaurant.

"Mostly we talked about his impending trip to Italy," Doxsee recalled, noting that Bebb spoke Italian fluently and traveled there often....
Read entire article at Columbus Dispatch

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