Cover photo for Iletha Bigford's Obituary
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1943 Iletha 2021

Iletha Bigford

July 27, 1943 — August 12, 2021

Funeral service at Union Valley Baptist Church, Cookietown, OK, Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., Pastors Arbuary Ritter and Jacob Bigford Officiating with Eulogy by Teletha Hunt. Interment in the Walters Cemetery. Visitation on Wednesday evening from 6-8pm at Hart-Wyatt Funeral Home Chapel in Walters, OK. Memorial Donations can be made to P.E.T.S Clinic of Wichita Falls at

Iletha Louise (Herring) Bigford was born to Oletha and Johnnie Herring on July 27, 1943 in Burkburnett, TX and departed this life in Waurika, OK on August 12, 2021 at the age of 78 years, and 16 days.

Iletha grew up in Burkburnett, TX and married Willie “Bill” Bigford on August 4, 1961 at Central Baptist Church in Burkburnett. In 1965, they moved to the Santa Fe, TX area where she was a homemaker until finishing her education and eventually retired from teaching there. Upon retirement the couple returned to Oklahoma in 2001, making their home at Cookietown.

Iletha had graduated from Burkburnett High School in 1961. She graduated from College of the Mainland with her Associate’s Degree in Arts in 1972 and graduated from the University of Houston Clear Lake with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1977, finishing her education in 1991 with a Master’s Degree in Education.

Iletha was a member of Union Valley Baptist Church where she enjoyed teaching Sunday School, VBS, teaching the kids rhythm band at church and singing with the church group at the nursing home. Iletha wrote poems and was a published author and received the Golden Poet Award in 1985 in Reno Nevada.

Iletha enjoyed being a mother to her 3 kids (involved in every aspect of their lives) and spending time with the love of her life Bill, but her real passion was teaching. She put everything into teaching 2nd grade at Lake Road Elementary in LaMarque, TX where she left a lasting impact on her students. Iletha and her husband created a garden for the elementary students and later Iletha created a radio station so her students could experience other aspects of life. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1999, and although officially retired in 2001 she never stopped teaching. She was always teaching her grandkids and great grandkids things and loved to read to the apple of her eye, her great grandson Fisher. She also enjoyed substitute teaching for many years.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Willie “Bill” Bigford, Sr.; her parents, Johnnie and Oletha Herring; her in-laws, L.L. and Icey Bigford; a son, Johnnie Lester Bigford; a grandson, Noah Adam Walker-Gilmore; a brother, Johnnie Charles Herring; a brother-in-law, David Dixon, Sr.; 5 other brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law.

Iletha is survived by a son Willie Bigford, Jr. and wife Tina of Bremond, TX; a daughter, Teletha Hunt and husband Kenneth of Waurika, OK; a daughter-in-law, Lana Bigford of Santa Fe, TX; a sister, Theresa Herring Dixon of Denison, TX; 2 sisters-in-law, and 1 brother-in-law; 10 grandchildren and spouses, Brandie and Jim Cargile, Jacob and Laurin Bigford, Brittanie and Brady McGee, Chelsea Jaramillo, Taylor Greenwald, Keletha and Matthew Buchanan, Ashby and Laira Gilmore, Dalton Jaramillo, Kamie Gilmore and Brooke Bigford; 14 great grandkids and 1 on the way; best friends for over 50 years, Gladys and John Thomas Organ; and her beloved fur babies, Taco, Lil Tac and Bubba.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Iletha Bigford, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Hart-Wyatt Funeral Home - Walters

202 East Colorado Avenue, Walters, OK 73572

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Funeral Service

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Union Valley Baptist Church

2nd Street, Randlett, OK 73562

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