Bobbye Sisk Temple taught many as journalist, professor

The Fresno BeeJune 21, 2014 

Bobbye Temple


Bobbye Sisk Temple enriched the lives of Valley residents for over five decades as a journalist with The Fresno Bee, a professor at Fresno State, a volunteer with various organizations and a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Mrs. Temple died June 16. She was 82.

While Mrs. Temple was a woman of many talents, her husband, J. Martin Temple, knew which one she preferred. "She was a journalist," he said. "She really enjoyed her decades of work at The Fresno Bee."

Mrs. Temple was born in Meadow, Texas. Her family moved to California after the family cotton gin went under during the Dust Bowl. Her family moved from Cutler in Tulare County to Fresno so she could attend Roosevelt High School. She graduated in 1949 and enrolled at Fresno State College, graduating in 1953 with a degree in journalism.

Mrs. Temple began her work at The Bee in 1954. That same year, her father, B.F. Sisk, who pruned fruit trees to buy the family's first home in California, was elected to the first of his 12 terms as a congressman. The B.F. Sisk Courthouse in downtown Fresno is named after him.

Mrs. Temple's first job at The Bee was to cover social activities for the Women's Department. She wanted to work on the sports desk but was never given the chance.

"She loved all sports," Martin Temple said. "She enjoyed college basketball and rooted for the San Francisco Giants. She even became interested in water polo, which her granddaughters played in high school."

Mrs. Temple left The Bee to raise her four children. She eventually took a job doing public relations work and teaching journalism at Fresno State.

Martin Temple believed his wife's best qualities were on display as a mother and educator.

"She was interested in people as persons and, whether her own children, grandchildren or students, she made that person feel that they were her sole interest. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching those young people and made lifelong friends of many students that she met."

The journalism bug bit Mrs. Temple again in the mid-1960s, and she returned to The Bee as a full-time reporter. She soon gained a reputation for the in-depth historical research that she put into her articles.

Gail Marshall, who worked with Mrs. Temple at The Bee, praised her skills as an editor. "She was a great editing mind," Marshall said. "She brought great context to whatever she was editing, which also helped young writers and editors get better. She even edited a few history books."

This love of history led Mrs. Temple to get involved with the Fresno City and County Historical Society.

She also was involved in various church groups and was a leader in the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fresno. As a girl, she was involved in a youth group at Palm Avenue Church of Christ and would later organize reunions for the group to stay in touch with old friends.

Mrs. Temple retired from The Bee in 1996 after more than three decades of reporting. She continued to volunteer at San Joaquin Valley Town Hall and Friends of the Library.

Bobbye Corene Sisk Temple

Born: Feb. 29, 1932

Died: June 16, 2014

Occupation: Journalist, historian, professor

Survivors: Husband J. Martin Temple, sister Marilyn Pittenger, children Lisa Marie Brott, Eric Martin Temple, Gretchen Temple Louden, Karin Sisk Temple, three granddaughters

Service: Private

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or at

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