Obituaries

Elmer Kelton (1926-22 Aug 2009), the No. 1 Western writer of all time and a Fellow of PHS, was born at Horse Camp on Five Wells Ranch in Andrews County, Texas. He grew up on McElroy Ranch near Crane, where his father Buck Kelton was foreman for thirty-six years.  After graduating from Crane High School, he studied at The University of Texas at Austin two years before going into the Army at the end of World War II. Returning from military service in Europe, Kelton graduated from U. T. with a degree in journalism and became a writer for San Angelo Standard Times.

Over the years he wrote and edited for Sheep and Goat Raisers Magazine and Livestock Weekly. As he worked for the newspaper and magazines, he managed to write more than forty Western novels which made him a popular and honored author. Kelton received numerous awards including those from Texas Institute of Letters and the Western Literature Association. He was named a Fellow of Permian Historical Society in 2007.

PHS is saddened by the loss of this talented and humble friend who was always just one of us!

 

Vernon Albert Vasbinder was born 28 May 1926 in Del Rio, Texas, and graduated from Del Rio High School in 1943. Between 1943 and 1946, he served in the United State Navy during World War II. He graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in 1949 and took a Master of Science at Sul Ross State University in 1957. In thirty-nine years of teaching public school, Vernon taught every grade except the second and retired while on the faculty of Odessa High School.

He was an active community volunteer and a charter member of Permian Historical Society. Many counted him as a friend and are proud to have known him.

 

Enid Holm (1928-2006)

April 13, 2011

Enid Holm was a talented dancer, actress, director, author, and teacher. In the 1940s she began a professional career as a 15-year-old dancer in the Starlight Operettas, now known as the Dallas Summer Musicals. In 1948, she was named Miss West Texas and later was a runner-up to the Miss Texas title. After graduating from the Univeristy of Texas at Austin, Ms. Holm taught dance in Arlington and drama in Ector County schools. She made the arts her life and was the 2003 winner of Texas Medal of Arts Award.

Ms. Holm was a charter and life member of Permian Historical Society. She died 22 August 2006.

Edith Irene McNerlin Springer was a native of Kent County, Texas. At Texas Tech, she majored in government with a minor in history and English. She became a country schoolteacher, spending twenty-six years in the schools of Valley View, Tarzan, and Lenorah. She and her teacher husband, Grover, sponsored Junior Historians at Grady School and encouraged students to research and write local history.

Irene and Grover were members of PHS and each was honored with the Permian Pioneer Award in 1994. Edith was always willing to help out at the registration table for PHS meetings with a smile and a kind word.

Joseph Duke [Joe] Pickle was born in Roscoe, Texas, and moved with his family to Big Spring in 1920. He graduated from Big Spring High School in 1928 and Baylor University in 1932. He started a career with the Big Spring Herald after college graduation and remained there forty-three years until his retirement in 1975.

Joe was recognized throughout the state for his journalistic work and his advocacy for a stable water source for West Texas communities. He was secretary-treasurer and spokesman for the Colorado River Municipal Water District from 1948 to 1995. As a strong supporter of PHS for decades, he was named to the Academy of History in 1993, and served a term as its president. He was a man who made a difference in the world he lived in.

Eileen Eiland Welch was a native of Midland, Texas. She attended Hardin-Simmons University before she married farmer and rancher Charles Welch in 1946. As the church organist most of her adult life, she was a faithful church member. Eileen served as secretary-treasurer of Midland County Livestock Association for more than fifty years and was secretary of Midland Livestock Auction and Sandhills Hereford and Quarter Horse Show.

She served as treasurer for Permian Historical Society for eighteen years and upon her retirement three people were needed to take her place. She was honored with the PHS Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and was named a Permian Pioneer in 2003. She was a dear friend to all who knew her.