As a poor country girl, Grace had no financial means to attend college, but Holmes Bible College accepted her without requiring any tuition commitment. She always appreciated that Holmes was the “stepping stone” that allowed her to continue her education at other colleges and universities. Grace continued her education at Newberry College, Duke University, Middlebury College (Vermont), and at The Sorbonne in Paris, France. Her teaching career began in her hometown, where she taught history, French, and psychology at Ninety-Six High School.
In the mid 1940s, Grace began a pen pal correspondence with a young French lady, and later travelled (by cargo ship—the only affordable transportation!) to Europe where she met Ginette face-to-face. A life-long friendship was forged, with Ginette and her family making several trips to America to visit the Ellenberg family, and with Grace eventually living in Europe.
During the 1960s, Grace taught French in government high schools in France (Verdun and Paris) and later in Germany. She had an insatiable curiosity about the world and other cultures, and traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa.
Following her time abroad, Grace settled in Greenville, NC, where she was a French professor at East Carolina University for nineteen years before retiring. From her home on East Wright Road, she could often be seen walking the two miles to her university classroom. Even after her retirement, Grace continued to audit classes, including studies in Greek and history, where she sat with students sixty-plus years her junior. Five years ago, she moved to Cypress Glen. Until recently, she was in excellent health, and enjoyed travelling, walking, and gardening.
Grace was a faithful member of the Bethel Pentecostal Holiness Church in Bethel, NC. She was an ardent student of the Bible and taught Sunday school there for many years. She felt fiercely loyal to Holmes Bible College, where she often stated that the disciplines of prayer and Bible study were cemented in her spirit. She was excited about the new student center, which is currently under construction.
She will be remembered with great affection by her many nieces and nephews, by her French “family,” and by her surviving sister, Lois Price, of Raleigh.
Memorial gifts may be made to Holmes Bible College, P. O. Box 14188, Greenville, SC, 29610-4188.
Submitted by Phebe Roberson, Grace Ellenberg’s niece
[Editor's Comment: I was never privileged to meet Grace Ellenberg, but I did meet two of her brothers, Vinson and Vernon. I attended Emmanuel College with Vinson Ellenberg, Jr. When I was writing the history of the IPHC Military Chaplaincy I did call and talked with Grace by phone. Her brother, the Reverend Dr. Vinson Ellenberg was our first Army chaplain. His ministry in the Army Chaplaincy was short-lived. I do remember Vinson teaching for Dr. Paul F. Beacham on the Book of Revelation. He was an excellent teacher and made the study of this book come alive.
We are grateful for the love Grace had for Holmes Bible College and gave so freely a significant donation that has paid for the outside construction of the Student Center at Holmes. Dr. James D. Leggett needs our financial support to compete the interior and to provide for the necessary equipment, furniture, etc. for this center.
I want to thank Phebe Roberson for this obituary and eulogy for her aunt. She is an exceptional writer.