Wilma “Billie” Gifford
Wilma “Billie” Gifford
1940 – 2021
Wilma Gay Thurston Gifford, AKA Billie, passed her test on earth with an A+ and returned home to the loving arms of her Heavenly Father on August 24, 2021.
Billie was the oldest of 7 children, born in Burley, Idaho on February 21, 1940, to Leo and Wilma Thurston.
She graduated from Burley High School, earned a degree in elementary education from Ricks College, and went on to obtain her bachelor’s from Idaho State University. She then dedicated approximately 47 years of her life to teaching in the public sector.
Billie met the lover of life, Dee Gifford, while working as the assistant manager for A&W Drive-in. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple on November 23, 1960, the day before Thanksgiving, thus stealing the turkey’s thunder.
She served in many capacities throughout her life in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her favorite callings were those of serving missions with her eternal companion. They served at the Church History Museum, Heber Valley Girl’s Camp, and the historical sites in St. George. During those missions, they made lifelong friends, whom they now call family.
Billie began her personal fight with the devastating Alzheimer’s disease about 11 years ago. She fought that battle with grace and fortitude. It brought out a side of her that made us laugh and cry. We are blessed to be able to remember her quick-witted comments, ‘Hell Nos’, random trilling, and treasured words of “I love you” that she often expressed to us all. Her loving companion was honored to care for her day in and day out over the past 5 years. Billie expressed how much she loved him multiple times a day, even up to her final moments. We will forever be grateful that even while battling this illness, she continued to teach her children and grandchildren how to render Christ like service by allowing us to serve her!
She was reunited in death with her parents, her sister Susan Jessop and her brother-in-law Kris Hansen.
Billie is survived by her husband, Dee, her children, Todd (Sami) Gifford, Camille (Mickey) Gilmore, Nicki (Brian) Bingham and David (Mindi) Gifford. She was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild with one on the way. She is also survived by her siblings, Frank, Tim, Karen, Laurie, and Rose.
We will celebrate Billie’s life on Friday September 3, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Chapel, 205 E Elberta Drive, North Ogden, Utah. Friends may visit with family Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah and again on Friday from 9:40 to 10:40 a.m. at the chapel. Interment, North Ogden Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers Billie would love for you to honor her by donating in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association Utah Chapter at Act.alz.org.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.myers-mortuary.com