Anita Sue Gillham

Anita Sue Gillham


Anita Sue Gillham, aged 82, passed away at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City on Friday, August 5, 2022.

Sue was born on December 25, 1939 in Dalhart, Texas to the late Gilbert H. Pirkle and Faye Ann (Love) Pirkle. Sue grew up in Dalhart, where her father was a conductor for the Rock Island Railroad and her mother was a storekeeper and homemaker. The Pirkle family attended the Dalhart Church of Christ, where Sue was baptized at the age of 14 (the same year and age that her future husband was baptized).

Sue graduated from Dalhart High School in 1958, where she stayed busy in Future Teachers of America, basketball, cheerleading, band, and chorus.  She was also valedictorian and student council president.

Sue completed her bachelor’s in elementary education at West Texas State College (WT) in Canyon, Texas.  It was at WT where Sue met her future husband Earl Gillham from Claude, Texas. Earl and Sue met each other in art class, and they went to church and the Bible Chair together. After Sue graduated from WT, she began teaching elementary school.

In the summer of 1963, just before Sue married Earl, she traveled to Europe by train, bus, ship, and plane with two other single friends.  Then Earl & Sue were married on August 18, 1963 in Dalhart, and were married for almost 58 years.

As a married couple and young parents, Earl & Sue lived in several towns across Texas: College Station, Plainview, Dumas, Claude, and Lubbock. Their son Greg was born in Plainview and their daughter Jill was born in Amarillo.

In 1978, the Gillhams moved from Claude to Lubbock to expand the business they owned, Flatlander Dairy. They not only milked cows, but they also bottled and sold milk all around Lubbock until 1987.

Sue was likely most well-known for being a teacher.  She taught at Lubbock Christian Schools and she was also a kindergarten teacher at Northridge Elementary School.  She taught more than 30 years.  She is still remembered by many of her students as their all-time favorite teacher.

Earl & Sue loved God and made sure their family learned about Jesus. They rarely missed a worship service, church event, camp, or fellowship. Sue taught Bible classes, and Earl served as a Deacon at South Plains Church of Christ. In their later years, Sue and Earl attended both the South Plains Church of Christ and Sunset Churches of Christ, and had many dear friends at both churches.

Sue loved her husband Earl and their children, Greg and Jill. They enthusiastically supported their kids in all of their activities at Lubbock Christian School and Lubbock Christian University.

In May of 2021, Sue’s beloved husband Earl passed away.  Sue’s daughter Jill and grandson Lucas had lived with them at that time for several years.  In September of 2021, Sue moved to Tealridge Independent Living in Edmond, Oklahoma, near her son Greg, his wife Arianne, and her grandkids Adelaide and Oliver.

Sue was preceded in death by her husband Earl, and her parents Bert & Faye.

Sue is survived by her brother Don Pirkle and his wife Beverly of Lubbock, Texas; her son Greg Gillham & his wife, Arianne and their kids Adelaide & Oliver of Edmond, Oklahoma; her daughter, Jill Gillham & her son Lucas Watts of Lubbock, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at South Plains Church of Christ, in Lubbock, Texas.  The service can be watched live online at:

Sue will be buried with Earl in the Wayside, Texas Cemetery.

The Gillham Family requests memorial donations, in memory of Sue, be made to the Wayside Cemetery Association, PO Box 155, Wayside TX 79004.

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