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Staff News -- Feb. 22, 2013


In Memoriam: Geneva Phillips, managing editor of the California Dryden Project

Jeanette Gilkison (from left), English department’s office supervisor; the late Vinton Dearing, managing editor for the California Dryden Project; and Geneva Phillips, managing editor.
Geneva Ficker Phillips, longtime managing editor of the UCLA-based California Dryden Project, died Monday, Feb. 18, at her home in Brentwood of cardiac arrest. She was 92.
Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she moved into editing positions in Chicago and Boston before enrolling in graduate studies in the English Department at UCLA in 1950. While working on a master’s degree there, she became a part-time research assistant on the project to develop a definitive version of the works of the 17th-century English poet, playwright and essayist John Dryden.
In 1964, Phillips became managing editor of the project, on which she worked until her 1991 retirement. In 2002, she joined the department in celebrating the completion of the herculean 12,217-page effort that had ultimately involved 18 scholars and taken 53 years.
In addition to her work on "The Works of John Dryden," Phillips is remembered for hosting the department’s annual fall open house on the grounds of her gracious home. The tradition continued long after she retired. Phillips’ husband, UCLA English professor and Renaissance scholar James E. Phillips, Jr., preceded her in death in 1979.
Her memorial service will be held Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. in University Lutheran Chapel at 10915 Strathmore Dr. in Westwood. A reception and viewing will follow at Pierce Bros. Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery at 1218 Glendon Ave.

Role reversal: Electrician Keith Merritt saves a nurse

Keith MerrrittA nurse was alone in an elevator lobby at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center one evening in January when she began choking on a bite of food. Luckily, Facilities Management electrician Keith Merritt walked by at the right time.
He noticed her gasping for air and asked if she was all right. When she gestured that she was choking, he performed the Heimlich maneuver, which he had practiced in a CPR course at UCLA. Soon she began to breathe again. "I was glad I was in the right place at the right time," Merritt said.
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