Ervin Pernell Christensen
b. 17 Apr 1903 Live Oak, Hamilton Co., TX [SS death records]
d. 5 Nov 1964 Kilgore, Gregg Co., TX
buried: Kilgore City Cemetery, Kilgore, Gregg Co., Texas
m. Bonnie Mae Williams of Tyler, TX*
b. 22 Nov. 1908
d. Nov. 1985 Tyler, Smith Co., TX [SS death records]
buried: Kilgore City Cemetery, Kilgore, Gregg Co., Texas
her father: Rev. William Oscar Williams
her mother: Eva Green Williams
|Child with Bonnie Williams|
|Evalyn Minnette Christensen||b. 4 Oct 1947 Gregg County, Texas [Texas Birth Index,
||d. living||m. Rick Shipley|
until 1907 - "Chris Andrew" and his family lived in Hamilton County, where several of his children were born. About this time he sells his share of the farm to his brother, Pete, and his wife. It is probably at this time he moves his family to Cranfills Gap. He buys the house and farm of Dr. Monroe Coston sets up a machine shop and flour mill.
1912- Chris dies at the age of 37. His plot in the Rock Church
Cemetery is marked for "Chris" Christensen. The couple had four
children. His mother remarries to Chris Hanson who already
had three children.
1920 - US Census, Precinct #8, Bosque Co., Texas.
Ervin Pernell Christenson graduated from Cranfills Gap High School then went on to Lincoln University in Nebraska. He majored in Latin minored in Hebrew and Greek and spoke nine different languages.
1937, Aug 2 , arriving Aug.11- New York Passenger lists Ervin Pernell Christensen as age 34, listed as born 17 April 1903 in Cranfills Gap, Texas, takes a trip from Gothenburg, Sweden on the ship Kungsholm for New York City, USA. This is apparently the last leg of a round trip to Denmark. [New York Passenger List, 1820-1957]
He taught at the Allen Military Academy and later received a position with the newly formed Kilgore Junior College. He headed the Liberal Art Department. During WWII he made several trips to Denmark and worked in some capacity as a spy according to my father. Ervin was a strong supporter of the college and education in general. He retired from that that position after a long and successful career.
Your dad is correct that he did go to Europe before the war began. On one of those trips, he was to meet relatives in Denmark. Because the language is different enough from Norwegian there was some confusion. He was met by a large group of friendly folks, with whom he went home. Over the course of a day or two, as they began to get caught up on various relatives, it became apparent that he had gone home with the wrong family. They took him back to the dock and got word that his family had arrived late to pick him up. He finally got together with his own relatives. He had a ball the whole time. And maintained contact with both families for a while. " [Shipley 2004]
Ervin Pernell “Pop” Christensen, (Biography) written by Minnette Christenson Shipley
Professor of Foreign Languages from 1936-1964
E. P. “Pop” Christensen was an energetic and popular educator at Kilgore College from his arrival the second year that the college opened until his death in November of 1964. To the students, faculty, and the general community, he was known affectionately as the “Dean of Pep”.
“Pop” was born in Bosque County, TX on April 17, 1903. He grew up near the small Norwegian community of Cranfills Gap, TX, where he spoke only Norwegian until he began attending school at the age of seven.
He graduated from Cranfills Gap High School and Clifton Junior College. He then went to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He received his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. His master’s thesis was written entirely in Greek.
Before coming to Kilgore College, he had a teaching fellowship in the classics department at the University of Nebraska and was a coach and teacher in Hebron, NB. He later became an instructor of Latin at Allen Academy in Bryan, TX, and also taught one year at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.
During WW II he served in the Army, first in Washington, DC, and then at a base in Greenland, as part of the CIC, where his language skills were used in counter-intelligence work.
At Kilgore College he taught foreign languages, principally German and Spanish. He was knowledgeable in nine languages, and fluent in six. He loved sharing jokes with his students in whichever foreign language they were studying. He became the first Director of the Liberal Arts Department. He was also instrumental in setting up the very first language lab for Kilgore College.
After the war, Pop met and married Bonnie Mae Williams on November 23, 1946 at her parents’ home. Her father, the Reverend Wm. Oscar Williams performed the ceremony. Their only daughter, Evalyn Minnette Christensen, was born a year later in October of 1947.
During summers, “Pop” Christensen worked tirelessly to recruit students for Kilgore College. He traveled throughout East Texas visiting high schools and numerous individuals, encouraging them to attend Kilgore College, and frequently arranging scholarships for many deserving students.
He was well known for his exuberant support of the various teams and organizations of the College. The Kilgore News Herald once referred to him as the “Doctor of Pepology.” He loved revving up the spirit at Pep Rallies by telling jokes and singing the fight song along with the Rangerettes, the KC band, and student body. He was frequently asked to kick off the first Pep Rally of the season with a joke about “a little glow worm”. The telling of that joke became a tradition, although not as much for its humor, but for the enthusiasm with which he told it.
In addition to his love of teaching, he was enthusiastically involved in civic activities. “Pop” played leading roles in the Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce, and Lions Club activities. He also found time to be an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Kilgore and taught the men’s Sunday School class for several years.
The Ranger Year Book of 1965, presents this description of “Pop” Christensen: “Those who knew and loved him—and we number in the thousands—remember his admission to his classes, ‘In here, you get a little Spanish, a little humor, a little democracy, and a little philosophy—as I see it. I don’t think any of it will hurt you.’ Truly, it didn’t hurt any of us.” The College honored him by dismissing classes the afternoon of his funeral on November 6, 1964.
[email Minnette Shipley 6/16/2014]
After 1964 - a scholarship was established at the Kilgore College
known as the E. P. (Pop)Christensen Memorial Scholarship by the
Family of E. P. (Pop) Christensen. It is presently offered
through Financial Aid Office of the Devall Student Center.
[2006-07 catalog of Kilgore College]
Minnette went on the higher education and married Rick Shipley.
She taught at Brazosport Independent School District until her
1995 - THE BRAZOSPORT FACTS Weekend Friday, July 28,1995
Going out listings Items in The Facts' Going Out listings are
published free of charge. To be included, send your written
submissions by noon on Monday prior to Friday's publication date
to: Going Out, Brazosport Facts, 720 S. Main, Clute, TX. 77531.
Our fax number is 265-9052. FILM FARE Your weekly guide to
entertainment events in the Brazosport area SPECIAL ART Teacher
Time: Watercolor exhibit featuring local teachers Minette Shipley, Sharon
Morrison, Kaye Martindale and Peggy Mungerspn on display through
Aug. 26 in Art League Studio, Brazosport Center for Arts and
Sciences. 400 College Drive, Lake Jackson.
The Facts (Newspaper) - November 30, 2005, Clute, Texas
Rf WEDNESDAY WJ NOVEMBER 3 NOVEMBER STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS Northside Nature Habitat wins recognition
The Northside Nature Habitat at Northside Elementary in Angleton is now recognized as an official
National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat The school has put out the welcome mat for birds
butterflies and other wildlife while helping protect the local environment Gonzales named Sponsor of the
Year Tyra Gonzales was named National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year for 2005 by the Texas Art
Education Association at its Nov 4 awards presentation in Austin Gonzales is the daughter of the late
Butch Gerhards and Mrs Zeta Gerhards of Richwood She was a four year student with Minnette Shipley at
Brazoswood High School where she graduated in 1985
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