Ellen Schmidt Kyle, 69, of Dumas, died Tuesday, October 4, 2022 from complications of multiple myeloma. She fought a short, but aggressive battle, finally choosing to face the final curtain her way, knowing what awaited her was far better than what she left behind. Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at Sunray Church of Christ. Burial will be at Lane Memorial Cemetery in Sunray. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Dumas, 500 N. Maddox
Ellen was born February 28, 1953 in Perryton, TX to Merten Matthew Schmidt and Lila Clella Pearson Schmidt, the second of three girls. Ellen grew up mainly in Dalhart, Texas, but also spent some time in Morse during her elementary school years. She had a love for music, and hated math.
Ellen graduated from Dalhart High School and attended college at West Texas State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with a minor in Geography. She excelled in geography, but knew from the second grade onward that she wanted to be a teacher, and she became an excellent one. She began her teaching career in Sunray, Texas in 1977. She went on to teach a total of 15 years, including kindergarten in Sunray, and her favorite, PPCD, in Dumas. After retirement, she substituted in Claude, and even came out of retirement for one final year of kindergarten in Stratford.
On July 16, 1977 Ellen married Terry Kyle. Into this union came her favorite child, Carolyn Diane, and her other child, Carrie Elizabeth. Her daughters were her pride and joy, until they got married and were quickly replaced as favorite by her son’s-in-laws. However, they also lost their title upon the arrival of her three grandchildren, Pearson, Brooklyn, and Norah, who presented Ellen with the name Gagoo.
Ellen, like many of us, was tethered by the chains of normal life but was still a free spirit. In her youth she had her pilot’s license and even took a few stunt pilot lessons. She rode motorcycles and loved fast cars. She burned her bra in college and even thought of joining a commune once. She gave her daughters free reign to express themselves, fostering that free spirit in them. She also gave them such great advice as, “If you don’t want someone to know it, don’t write it down.” “Be Good. Have Fun. Remember who you are.” “If it isn’t your story, don’t tell it” and their personal favorite, “It wouldn’t have happened if you’d been wearing shoes.”
The best thing about Ellen was her heart, which she shared with everyone. She lived her life a servant to others, from her career in teaching, to her service to community. She served in the Pilot Club of Dumas, the Retired Educators Association of Dumas, The Moore County Historical Society and museum board, and the Meals on Wheels board, which she insisted was just to get a free ham at Christmastime. Even in day-to-day interactions, her goal was to enrich the life of every person she met.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents and a sister-in-law, Nina Ellison. Survivors include her husband, Terry, of Dumas, her children, Carolyn and husband Ryan Ferguson of Amarillo, and Carrie and Arend Gressley of Goodnight, grandchildren Pearson and Brooklyn Ferguson, and Norah Gressley. She is also survived by two sisters, Katherine Huston, of Dumas, and Gwenfred Millard and husband Short, of Evans, Georgia, as well as sisters-in-law Billye Kyle Zak and husband Joe, and Roxy Newcomb and husband Jack. She also dearly loved her very special friends Des, Bonus Mom Jodie, her Claude coworkers Cheryl Hand, Mary Ann Morrison, and Heather Morris, as well as her Mary Allen Elementary family and kindergarten class.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Friday, October 7, 2022.