THE PERSON BEHIND THE BADGE: EARL ELLISOR
Earl Ellisor is a fifth generation Texan who grew up in the Houston area and married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen. He has degrees in math and physics from UT Austin and computer science from University of Houston in Clear Lake. Earl and Kathleen have been married for 52 years and they have been blessed with two sons and seven grandchildren. He and Kathleen are very proud of their sons, Lance and Darren. Lance, who followed in his dad’s footsteps and also graduated from UT, is the Chief Development Officer at a dot com company in Austin; and Darren, who graduated from the Air Force Academy, served as an Air Force pilot for ten years and is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines out of Houston.
Earl retired from IBM after 35 years, where he held a variety of positions from systems programmer to systems engineer to systems engineering manager and eventually executive project manager. Early in his career, he worked on NASA’s Apollo program as part of the trajectory calculation team for all manned lunar missions. He has taught computer science classes at the University of Houston in Clear Lake and AP Physics at Bastrop High School, where he also volunteered for several years.
After Earl left high school teaching, he and his wife were looking for some way to volunteer. Their neighbors, Bob and Phyllis Barker told them about CASA and they started their CASA Volunteer training in January 2011. Like other of our CASA Volunteer couples, Earl and Kathleen enjoy working cases together.
Earl’s most meaningful CASA experience has been his current and longest running case involving a now 16-year-old boy who had been in nine placements over the past four years. Through some investigative work on Earl’s part and cooperation from Child Protection Services, they eventually located his pre-adoption relatives and he is now placed with a family who loves and is committed to him.
Earl has payed it forward. He also had a dysfunctional childhood and was cared for by a succession of relatives, attending ten schools in twelve years. He states these relatives were his advocates and “foster” parents. Advocating and being there for children when they are stressed by unusual, dysfunctional or even dangerous homes situations, gives him great personal satisfaction. In addition to his advocacy work, Earl has served on the CASA Board.
Executive Director, Kristi Glasper states, “Earl has a heart of gold! When I first came to CASA, I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time with Earl as he sat on our Board of Directors in addition to advocating for children. He brought the Volunteer perspective to the Board that was much needed at the time. I have seen Earl dedicate so much to the children he served and continues to serve. He understands the needs that our children have and he tries, with everything he’s got, to ensure that those needs are met. Earl has such a wonderful spirit about him that has brought such life to the children he serves and to our CASA organization.”
Earl and his wife are members of Bastrop Christian Church where he is an Elder. He and Kathleen enjoy movies, live productions and travel. He plays duplicate bridge and is always reading two or three books at a time – his favorites being novels and history. They now spend their summers in a small town in Colorado called South Fork. In fact, they have spent time there nearly each summer for 40 years. All of us here at CASA of Bastrop, Fayette & Lee Counties are just happy they always find their way back to Texas!