Dr. Paul Enersen, age 78, of Marshall, Minnesota, died on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center with family at his side. No memorial services are planned at this time. Please designate any memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://act.alz.org/donate). The Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall is handling the arrangements.
Paul Oliver Enersen was born on May 14, 1944, in Duluth, Minnesota. He was the son of Pastor Oliver and Grace (Hanson) Enersen and grew up in Nebraska and Iowa. He also enjoyed spending time with family at Preacher’s Point on Lake Sybil at the house built by Paul and his father. In 1962, Paul graduated from Tekamah High School in Nebraska. He went on to Sioux Falls College to study Mathematics. In 1966 he graduated and moved on to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he earned his first master’s degree in Mathematics in 1968. Four years later, Paul earned his PhD from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln; his dissertation was on “Class Functions in the General Radical Theory of Rings and Algebra”. Paul also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Instructor of Mathematics at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 1966 until 1972. In 1982, he earned a second master’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University on a National Science Foundation grant. On January 23, 1969, Paul was united in marriage to Dixie Lee Brewer in Auburn, Nebraska. The couple initially made their home in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1974, they moved to Marshall, Minnesota. Their children, Nicole “Nikki” and Erik were both born in Marshall in 1976 and 1979, respectively. Their granddaughter, Maite, was also born in Marshall in 2002. His children and granddaughter were his biggest joys. He loved spending time with them and global travels with them – in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He was proud of his family and loved attending any of their activities. Dr. Enersen taught mathematics and computer science and also served as Department Chair at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) from 1974 until his retirement in 2011. Paul was proud of his role at SMSU and served many roles. Paul served as the Curriculum Coordinator Chairman, on the University Appeals Committee, and participated on numerous search committees. Dr. Enersen enjoyed sports. He was the Faculty Athletic Representative for the men’s athletic department, President of the NIC Board of Control (for player eligibility), and chaired the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – District 13 Eligibility Committee. He also enjoyed working on the chain gang for SMSU home football games. He truly enjoyed his work with both faculty and students at his tenure with SMSU. The Enersen family loves to travel; Paul and Dixie travelled to over 60 countries. Dr. Enersen and his wife, Dixie, taught internationally as well as in Marshall. He brought his family to Malaysia in 1991 where he taught at the Institut Teknologi MARA (1991-1992) which was affiliated with the University of Indiana. He also taught at the Fawzia Sultan International School in Kuwait (2002-2003). Once he retired from SMSU, he joined Dixie to live in Ankara, Turkey as well while she taught at the Bilkent Laboratory and International School of Ankara. Paul was active in church – serving as Chairman, Elder, Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Bible Study Leader, and Church Treasurer. He enjoyed traveling internationally (favorite trips were African safaris with family), time spent with friends, biking to work (year-round) and geocaching. Paul and Dixie located over 10,000 finds the world over and met their goal of reaching that impressive number before their 50th wedding anniversary. Geocaching coupled his curiosity and love of exploration and travel with solving puzzles and navigating a map. Paul took particular pride in being the FTF (first to find).
Paul is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dixie Enersen; children, Nikki (Marlon) McPherson, Erik Paul Enersen; granddaughter, Maite Imani McPherson, brothers/sisters-in-law, Don Niebuhr, Tim (Susan) Brewer, Judy Enersen, Carol (Wes) Pope, Deanna (Charles) McKee, John Bebb; nephews and nieces Greg (Julie) Howar, Christa Howar LeVieux, Todd and Carmen Enersen (with Annika, Kyle, and Owen), Lisa (Dan) Stenenga, Pam (Matt) Turk, Erika Enersen (with David and Peris), Derek (Malia) Pope (with Elsa and Anna), Dennis (Joanna) Pope (with Addie), Stacy (Zach) Watson (with Carter and Bennett), Phillip (Susan) McKee (with Jessica and Brooke), Julia (Scott) Goheen (with Sabrina), Paula (Jay) Reyhorns (with Collin), Jana (Cody) Neer (with Everly), Carlyn (Darian) Haynes, John Jr (Carla) Bebb (with Rachel and Kendal), Justin (Jenn) Bebb (with Riley and Kinsey)other relatives and many friends. Preceding him in death were his parents, Pastor Oliver and Grace Enersen; brother, David Enersen; sister, Beth Niebuhr; father-in-law, John Brewer, mother-in-law, Erma Brewer, and sister-in-law, Connie Bebb.