- Ada, Oklahoma

May 13, 2013

LaDonna Gilliam

The Ada News

Ada —

Services for LaDonna "Tootsie" Gale Welch Gilliam, 65, Ada, are 2 p.m. Monday at Trinity Baptist Church, with the Rev. David Gray officiating. Burial follows at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mrs. Gilliam died Thursday, May 9, 2013, at an Oklahoma City hospital. She was born Oct. 3, 1947, to Clyde and Marie Northam Welch.

She grew up in the Oil Center community and graduated from Vanoss High School in 1964 at the age of 16. She immediately pursued a college degree in education. She received a bachelor of science in education in 1968, a master of science in education in 1977, and a master of science in human services in 1985. She was a member of Mensa, a high-IQ society.

She married George Michael Gilliam on June 10, 1966.

Mrs. Gilliam was an educator, counselor and mentor. She taught second grade at Justice Elementary School and then kindergarten at Vanoss. She was a stay-at-home mom until 1985, and then she began a career that lasted 27 years at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, where she retired June 30, 2011.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Mike Gilliam, of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Kent and Maggie Gilliam and their two children, Aaron and Natalie of Dallas, Texas; her son and daughter-in-law, Kurt and Misty Gilliam and their four children, Kase, Kyler, Noah and Tanner of Ada; her daughter and son-in-law, Kory and Cameron Lewis of Oklahoma City; and her brother, George Welch, Oil Center.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde and Marie Welch; and a brother, Clyde Welch Jr.

Bearers are Kenny Arthur, Jimmy Haskins, Monte Law, Joe Lee Walker, Lonnie Roy Manuel and Clint Welch. Honorary bearers are the Henry Boys: Daren, Steve and Brent.

Obituaries may be viewed and online condolences sent to

Criswell Funeral Home, Ada