Ernest “Ernie” Parker Kirkham, 64, of College Station passed away on Saturday, July 20, 2019. A descendant of early Texas settlers, he was born on August 9, 1954 in Galveston, TX to Emmett Oran Kirkham and Edna Pearl Thomas Kirkham and was raised in LaMarque. He was a graduate of LaMarque High School, Class of ’72. Ernie earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Technology in 1977 and his Master”s Degree in Physical Education in 1981 from Texas A&M University. Ernie was appointed in 1981 as MS Physical Education Associate Instructional Professor, Health and Kinesiology Undergraduate Faculty, where he taught until his retirement in 2018. He was an International Gymnastics Federation Brevet Judge from 1989-1996. Brevet meaning the highest rank to be held. He joined the USPA in 1992 and was a Static Line Jump Master and Instructor, and was a certified Parachute Rigger. He was the Director of Officials and Head Judge in the 1993 World Championships in Freestyle Skydiving and Skysurfing in Spain.
Ernie was kind, humble, and selfless. He valued people and made every effort to place the needs of others before himself. Ernie was an inspiring mentor and friend who will be missed by all knew him.
His professional experience included:
1984 to 2018 Coordinator of Developmental Activities for Physical Education Activity Program, Texas A&M University
1987 – 2018 Senior Lecturer, Department of Health and Kinesiology,
Texas A&M University
1981 – 1987 Lecturer, Department of Health and Physical Education,
Texas A&M University
1983 – 1991 Gymnastics Coach, Texas A&M Gymnastics Team
1980 – 1981 Graduate Assistant – Teaching, Department of Health and Physical Education, Texas A&M University
1979 – 1983 Gymnastics Coach and Instructor, Texas School of Physical
Fitness, College Station, Texas
1975 Teaching Assistant in Mathematics, College of the Mainland, Texas City, Texas
1973 Teaching Assistant in Physics and Math, College of the Mainland, Texas City, Texas
1977 – 1978 Engineer Trainee, Fisk Telephone Systems, Houston, Texas
Honors and Awards that he received throughout his tenure:
Emil Mamaliga Teaching Award – 1987
Texas Gymnastics Judges Association Judge of the Year – 1989
International Gymnastics Federation Brevet Judge – 1989 to 1996
Gymnastics Association of Texas Honor Award – 1989
Gymnastics Association of Texas Merit Award – 1990
Director of Officials and Head Judge – World Championships of Freestyle Skydiving and
Skysurfing – 1993
Kinesiology Division Teaching Award – 2003, 2011
Texas Gymnastics Judges Association J.O. Coach of the Year-2013
Gymnastics Association of Texas, Collegiate Honor Award-2014
Ernie is survived by his Sister, Junette Kirkham Woller and husband, William Henry Woller; Brother, Emmett Oran Kirkham, Jr.; Sister, Jacquelin “Jackie” Kirkham (Hipes) and husband, Mark Hipes; Nieces and Nephews, William Kirk Woller and wife, Vanesa Sanabria, Thomas Roy Woller and wife, Lanita O’Quinn Woller, David Lloyd Woller and wife, Tonya Woller, Scott Andrew Kirkham and wife, Laura Benton Kirkham, Sheri Denise Stomberg and husband, Jonathan Stomberg, Stuart Michael Kirkham and wife, Tiffany Ann Kirkham, and Jacquelin Joye “JJ” Hipes; Great-Nieces and Great-Nephews, Dayla Rain Woller, Rylan Blaze Woller, Amber Noel Hill and husband, Stephen Hill, Haley Warren and husband, Matthew Warren, Taylor Elizabeth Stokke, Sabryna Nicole Searle, Emily Elizabeth Kirkham, and Matthew Michael Kirkham; Great-great nieces and nephews, Braeden Alexander Mauzy, Neely Louise Hill, Lylah Grace Minor, and Grayson Ace Minor.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 pm Monday, July 29th with the Celebration of Life to follow at 6 PM in the Bluebonnet Chapel of Callaway-Jones Funeral Center officiated by Certified Celebrant Dawn Lee Wakefield. The graveside service will be held 11 am Tuesday, July 30th at Forest Park East Cemetery, 21620 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX 77598.
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