Dennis Ensor
Dennis Ensor
  • May 22, 1951 - September 8, 2017
  • Hamilton, Texas

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Dennis Kelso Ensor's big life adventure began on May 22, 1951 when he was born the first son to James and Billie Ensor in Lubbock County. He remained a Texas boy his whole life.

When he was 3 years old, Dennis, his parents, and his 4-year-old sister, Sharon, moved to Ft. Stockton, Texas, so that his father could farm there. One of Dennis and Sharon's favorite places to play on the farm was on a tall, muddy dirt slide in an irrigation ditch! Even at an early age, Dennis was creative in ways to entertain himself. One such adventure was when he decided to paint himself all over with silver paint that he found in the barn! Before leaving Ft. Stockton, Dennis had 2 more siblings added to the family: Sandra and Jace.

In 1956, the family moved to a farm in Lariat, Texas and after a few years Dennis got a new baby brother named Josh. While working with his dad on the family farm, Dennis learned to drive a tractor at a very young age. He was always looking for ways to make his job more exciting. Once he stopped his tractor long enough to catch 6 baby rabbits that he put inside his T-shirt where they had a grand time running all around his middle for the rest of the workday.
From the age of 5 years until graduation from high school, Lariat Church of Christ was Dennis' church home. He often led the congregational singing-Dennis style!

Dennis attended school in Farwell, Texas 1st-12th grade. He made many lifelong friends there with whom he stayed in touch the rest of his life. While in school, Dennis was quite the athlete. During his senior year, he was chosen MVP of his 16 and 0 baseball team, as well as MVP of his track team which finished 1st place in district. In basketball, he was named first team "All District."

After graduating from high school in 1969, Dennis attended Oklahoma Christian College for 2 years where he was selected Outstanding Intramural Male Athlete. He tells a story about leading singing at a large church, there wearing only his socks due to losing the heel and sole of his right shoe. His transfer to Abilene Christian College as a junior significantly changed the course of his life. There he obtained a B. S. Ed. With a teaching field in Industrial Arts Education and, most importantly, he met and married Bonnie Davidson in 1972.

As newlyweds, Dennis and Bonnie moved back to the family farm in Farwell and quickly decided farming-or rather, dust and field mice-was not for them. So, after farming one year, when Dennis was offered a teaching job in Arlington, they packed up and started the next chapter of their lives.

While in Arlington, the Ensors had 2 sons. Jeff was born in 1974 and Jarod in 1979. Dennis was very involved with the boys' activities: coaching their sports teams and supporting their church activities. While in Arlington, Dennis taught school on the Jr-Hi level for a total of 7 years. He also became a pupil, learning the construction business while working for a builder and learning about real estate investment. Throughout his life, Dennis was open to new adventures, unafraid of taking risks.

His experience in construction and teaching frequently came together to benefit others, whether in supervising the building of a food distribution ministry in Arlington or in building homes and churches for those in need in Honduras. He and Bonnie also volunteered their services in a school to help teach English to students, as well as teachers, during several extended stays in Honduras.

It was the boys' desire to live in a small town that brought the Ensors to Hamilton after living in Arlington for 18 years. While living in Hamilton, Dennis would commute to Arlington several days a week to work on his rental properties and take care of other businesses. He was also involved in various projects in Hamilton, such as serving on the HISD school board for 7 years, remodeling the Outreach Church building, constructing a new home for him and Bonnie, and writing 3 books. These projects brought him unending joy, as did spending time with his 3 grandchildren: Trapper, Aubrey, and Emma.

Dennis was always the happiest when serving others, whether through manual labor, lending a listening ear, or offering a word of encouragement. He loved to brighten people's days by taking moments to visit with them anytime and anywhere, whether he knew them or not. And of course, his goal was to always leave them smiling with one or more of his crazy jokes or quips!

Dennis Ensor was a man full of love for his God, his family, his church, his friends, and just about anyone else with whom he came in contact, and he was never shy about telling them that!