Doris Lynn Crisp

Published 11:54 am Monday, December 4, 2023

Doris Lynn Crisp of Port Arthur and Groves, Texas, passed away in her home November 22, 2023.

She lived a life of fierce independence to the end. She was sharp and witty and very observant of the world around her.

She was “interesting and interested” as she might describe other people; someone who was both a person filled with knowledge and conversation, and also someone curious about other people.

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Doris Crisp grew up as an only child in Oak Cliff, a Dallas suburb. Her father was a “railroad man,” and her mother was a homemaker until she took a job at a downtown Dallas department store to earn extra money to send Doris to college.

Doris attended Texas Women’s University in north Texas, earning her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English. Doris came to Port Arthur at a time when oil refinery executives wanted the best school system for their children, and Port Arthur’s starting salary was one of the two highest in the state.

PAISD was a top-flight public school district – many graduates went on to prestigious universities and were well prepared after graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School. “Miss Crisp” was a well-known English teacher and head of the English Department at TJ from the 1950s into the 1980s.

She was a “hard” grader and also an inspiration to generations of students. She touched many lives in many ways, and many people have expressed that Miss Crisp had a big impact on their lives. Her lifelong pleasure in reading, passion for learning, and delight in discussing a myriad of topics including science and politics was infectious.

In later life, she remarked upon the extraordinary kindness of strangers in Port Arthur. She loved good conversation and laughter. She was a devout Democrat.

After retiring, Doris traveled extensively, to Europe, Russia, and Australia, among other places, and enjoyed the tours planned by Margie Moore and Mildred Gernantz.

Doris was preceded in death by her dear friends Martha Butler, TJ biology teacher and rancher in Karnes City; Kathryn Minter, operating room head nurse at St. Mary Hospital of Port Arthur; Jane Smith and Muriel Stubbs, extraordinary English teachers; and many, many, other dear friends.

She is survived by many friends and former students across the country and the world, including Rory Minter Fontenla of Rockwall, TX,; William Butler of Canyon Lake, TX; Marialice Grimes of Houston, TX; and Sandra Hall of Denver, Colorado. Doris did not want a service or memorial gathering.

Melancon Levingston Funeral Home, 39th Street, Groves, is arranging her desired cremation. Doris did not want an obituary written about her.