Community activist, journalist and historical preservationist Patricia Harriet Ravage Dahlberg, 90, died Dec. 20, 2019.
Heath Fox, executive director of La Jolla Historical Society, praised the contributions of Dahlberg to the historical society and La Jolla community during her long life.
“Pat Dahlberg served, at various times and over a number of years, as a board member, director, and on the Preservation Committee of the La Jolla Historical Society, and at a pivotal time in the organization’s history,” said Fox. “Her work was instrumental to the bequest of Wisteria Cottage by the Revelle family, the designation of UCSD’s Audrey Geisel University House (the chancellor’s residence) on the National Register of Historic Places, and in recognizing Pottery Canyon and its importance to the history of La Jolla. Pat’s many contributions were important and formative to the growth of the society and its mission of service to the community.”
Longtime La Jollan and community park planner Melinda Merryweather said Dahlberg was her role model.
“She was like a sister, a friend and a teacher,” said Merryweather. “She is the person who taught me everything about historic preservation … and also taught me how to get things done.”
Added Merryweather, “Pat wrote a beautiful book on the history of La Jolla. She is responsible for the history room at the La Jolla Library. She was a wonderful lady and I was very grateful for any time she spent with me.”
Born in New York City on April 9, 1929, to David and Margaret Kelly Ravage, Dahlberg was the second of four children. A child of the Great Depression, Pat and her sisters helped support their family by modeling clothes for the Girl Scouts of America.
Her family moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1942, where her father worked on the Manhattan Project at Union Carbide Corp.
Graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1950 with a history degree, Pat worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Pat’s husband, Dick Dahlberg, was a nuclear physicist. In 1956, the couple moved to Schenectady, New York, where Dick worked at the General Electric Co. Their family relocated to La Jolla in 1964 when Dick accepted a position at General Atomics.
In the early ‘70s, Dahlberg was a reporter at the La Jolla Light, which she left to start her own publication, the La Jolla Report, later La Jolla Magazine.
Pat Dahlberg was president/executive director of La Jolla Historical Society in the 1990s through the early 2000s.
In 2014, Save Our Heritage Organization, the oldest countywide historic preservation organization in California, recognized Pat's accomplishments presenting her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Survivors include Pat’s husband Dick, three daughters and sons-in-law and five grandchildren.