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Dr. Carolyn Fowle: A Life of Service

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Dr. Carolyn Fowle is living proof that a life of professional service does not have to end in retirement. At 97, she continues to work full time as a clinical psychologist, counseling patients dealing with challenging issues that prevent them from living full lives.

Her pathway to success started in Madison, Nebraska, at the remarkably young age of 11, when she entered high school and then enrolled at Nebraska State University at 15. She was awarded a fellowship at the University of Chicago and later obtained her PhD degree from the University of the Pacific.

She made her way to Lodi in 1952 and begin teaching kindergarten at Leroy Nichols School when her husband, Charles Fowle, took a position at Farmers & Merchants Bank. In a few years, she was appointed as the school psychologist and in 1965, when the Lodi Unified School District was formed, she was promoted to director of pupil personnel services and special education for all of the schools in the district. As a prominent member of the clinical psychology community, she was recruited by the State of California to form and manage the Research and Evaluation Department that certified school counseling programs. She also served for 16 years as a forensic psychologist and expert witness to the Sacramento Superior Court, evaluating prisoners. In 1966, she started her private practice that has continued for over 55 years.

Why has she worked so long? “I enjoy my patients, many of whom became friends,” Dr. Fowle affirmed. “I was privileged that they would share their innermost feelings and know that I would respect them.” No doubt this is why patients have left comments on review websites such as “She is a very caring and kind person;” “I feel like she is a friend I can say anything to;” or “Dr. Fowle’s guidance has helped me recover and find a fulfilling future.”

Dr. Fowle began her education at a very early age, and that has resulted in one of the longest careers in psychology on record, all because she wanted to give to others. She is very philanthropic with her time and relationships, and she’s also very loyal with her financial donations. She is grateful for the referrals of the physicians at Lodi Memorial Hospital in the early years when patients required doctor referrals. “The doctors and the hospital made my practice, and for that I will forever be grateful,” she commented. Her legacy of giving has motivated so many others to support causes in our community.

In addition to her work, Dr. Fowle loves to travel and has visited 87 countries in the world. She and her husband, Henry Ybarra, were invited to join the exclusive Argosy Travel group that does unique and in-depth tours throughout the world. On a recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand, she was hospitalized for two weeks only to return to work a few weeks later and plan her next trip. She is passionate about meeting people and understanding cultures of the world, and her office is filled with mementos from her journeys and remarkable photos of exotic places.
Dr. Carolyn Fowle is living proof that if you are passionate about life, you love people and you love your work, there is never a reason to quit. She is a shining example of how to live a full and fulfilled life of service.