Former VP of Student Affairs passes away

Ardmore, OK – Memorial services for Dr. Ernest L. Pickens Sr., 70, was held at 2 p.m., Friday, April 24 at the First United Methodist Church conducted by Rev. Everisto Chikanga, Pastor of Warren Memorial United Methodist Church. The eldest child of Elmer Wesley and Kittie Marie Pickens, Ernest Leon Pickens was born Nov. 23, 1938, in Ardmore, Okla. and was called to glory Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at his Dallas, Texas home.

?Dr. Pickens grew up in the Warren Memorial United Methodist Church where he served in the MYF, was a Sunday School Teacher and director of the Chancel Choir. He attended Dunbar Elementary School and Douglass High School, graduating in 1957. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Coppin State College, his Master of Arts degree from Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md. and his Ph.D. from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Pickens also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education Institute of Educational Management.

?He began his professional career in the Baltimore Public School system, served as an Adjunct Professor of Education at Coppin State College, was the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Interim Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, Executive Officer in the Department of Music and was visiting professor in the English department at Morgan State University. For 15 years he was the Executive Vice-President at Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C. and after his tenure at Shaw University accepted the position as Vice-President for Student Affairs at Grambling State University. Dr. Pickens was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and during his lifetime was accorded many accolades and awards.

?Following his retirement, he moved to Dallas, where he united with the Hamilton Park United Methodist Church and renewed his fellowship with Warren Memorial, taking a special interest in the youth. He served as the vice-chairperson of the “Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century” committee of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.

?He leaves to cherish his memory his son, Ernest L. Pickens Jr. and his wife, Patricia, Waco, Texas; his foster son, Chauncey Stevenson, Raleigh, N.C.; two grandchildren, Angel Pickens Newton and Ernest L. Pickens III, Houston, Texas; five great-grandchildren; his mother, Kittie M. Pickens and sister, Dorothy P. Pickens both of Ardmore; numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends and all the people whose lives he touched. His father, Elmer Wesley Pickens and sister, Effie Marie Douglas, preceded Dr. Pickens in death.

?Condolences may be expressed online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.