Name: Jerry McElveen
Hometown: Independence, Louisiana
Education: B.A. in English, Southeastern Louisiana Univ.; M.A. in English, Louisiana State Univ.
Profession: Professor Emeritus of English
Present City: Dallas
Tell us about your family:
I grew up in a loving family of an older brother and two older sisters. My parents made certain that all of us were in attendance at the First Baptist Church of Independence, Louisiana, any time the doors were open. (Most of my friends were third generation Sicilian-American Roman Catholics.) I met my wife, Sue, when she showed up in my freshman composition class at Richland College back in 1974, and our friendship became romantic later in life after our spouses were no longer in the picture. We became a blended family with Sue’s two sons, Addison and Justin, my daughter, Kalyse, and two grandchildren, Paige and Parker.
How about your work or volunteer life?
The highlight of my 50-year teaching career was being honored with the Dallas County Community College District Excellence in Teaching award, given to one outstanding professor from a faculty of more than 1,500.
Any favorite pastimes or hobbies?
My favorite pastimes include travel, woodworking, golf, writing and reading poetry and being one of the Three Amigos, a volunteer trio who does odd jobs where needed.
What is your favorite place to travel?
Favorite destinations include, in order, Ireland and the Lake District in England.
What brought you to Wilshire and when?
We came to Wilshire about five years ago at the invitation of Sam Tinsley and, like many others, were surprised at the diversity and friendliness of the members and staff. After years of not attending church, we knew we had found our home.
What is something most people would not know about you?
Not many people know that I spent a sabbatical in Bangladesh as an education consultant for the Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service, a humanitarian program under the Lutheran World Service. I’ve also been thrown off a golf course, escorted out of a Sam’s store and a few other establishments. None of these ejections were my fault, of course.
What adjectives best describe you?
Some might say that I’m a dedicated father, a loyal friend and a patient and conscientious worker. I would add a passionate teacher to that list.
Who have been the greatest influences in your life?
The biggest influences in my life, in addition to my parents and siblings, are my beloved wife, Sue, my cherished daughter, Kalyse, and my high school English teacher, Stanley Hoover.