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Posted on August 22, 2016 at 3:49 PM by Katie Stamy
Their story started when Jerry Lou was only 15 years old. She met Melvin, who was 19 at the time, outside of a movie theater in Fort Worth, Texas. The two instantly had a connection, and 64 years later the pair is still together to tell the tale. Three children, many moves and even more occupations later, the couple found themselves in Webster with no plans of ever leaving.
Melvin Ellis started out in the U.S. Air Force, where he became an electronics and radar instructor and taught for four years in Mississippi. Following his Air Force career, the Ellises moved to Austin where Melvin received an engineering degree from the University of Texas. After graduation, the family moved first to Santa Monica, California, then to El Paso, to Clear Lake City and finally to Webster.
In Clear Lake, Melvin worked for TRW Systems, before becoming employed with Lockheed Martin. It was then that the duo decided to open their own sewing machine business in Webster. Jerry Lou would teach classes and sell the machines, while Melvin would spend his evenings repairing machines and maintaining the property.
It all came to a stop when Melvin woke up one morning with a headache. He was rushed to a hospital in Houston where they learned of his brain aneurysm. The next thing Melvin remembers is waking up over two months later in a hospital bed. It was a five-month process where Jerry Lou was caring for Melvin and driving to and from Houston.
From then on, the sewing machine business became too much to handle and soon closed. Melvin retired, but both he and Jerry Lou have remained very active in the community. Melvin was on Webster City Council for six years and is still on the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Jerry Lou is on the Parks, Recreation, and Beautification Board, as well as on the Celebration Committee. Since January 1976, Melvin and Jerry Lou have seen Webster grow and change. The medical center has been one of the biggest changes, said
Jerry Lou. Melvin recalled making decisions on council for the expansion of the hospital, Edgewater, and Texas Avenue Park.
The couple attends the July 4th Celebration each year and what started out as around 50 families at the Webster Civic Center for a potluck, has turned into a huge event at Texas Avenue Park with thousands of visitors, outstanding fireworks, and dozens of vendors.
Thank you, Melvin and Jerry Lou Ellis, for helping to make this city what it is today!