Bickham, Gertrude

Gertrude “Tootie” Bickham – our beloved Tutu – was called home after a brief but courageous battle with cancer on August 13, 2014.  She was born September 21, 1933 in Orange Grove, Texas to August and Martha Bues Stech.  She was the thirteenth of fourteen children and was preceded in death by her brothers, Adolph, Herbert, Ed, Bill, Augie, Bob, and Marvin and sisters, Dora, Emma, Lily, and Hilda.  Tootie grew up in Orange Grove, Texas and  attended Orange Grove High School where she played basketball, softball, volleyball, and played the drums, and was a majorette with the marching band.

Tootie married her first husband, Ben “Bob” Bickham on March 21, 1953.  Bob and Tootie had three children, sons, Robert Bickham (Helen) and Allen Bickham (Terri), and daughter, Cheryl Fair (Pete) all of Corpus Christi, Texas.  She cared for Bob throughout a lengthy illness, never leaving his side until his death in October, 1996.

On January 21, 2000, Tootie married Larry Bickham, and the two of them enjoyed many happy years together, checking the crops, feeding the cows, traveling (especially trips to Coushatta), and most especially Sunday dances at Community Hall.

Tootie is survived by her adoring husband, Larry; her three children, Larry’s children, Brad Bickham (Sarita) of Odem, Texas, and Sheri James (Scott) of Corpus Christi, Texas, whom she loved dearly.  She is also survived by her grandchildren, of whom she was so proud; Jessica, Brady and Ben Fair, Erin and Hailey Bickham, Drew, Weston and Baileigh James. and Brin and Blake Bickham, Amber Prince and Ryan Flores as well as great grandchildren, Emma, Wyatt, Cooper, Dalton and baby Paige, expected in November.  She is survived by sisters, Sis Bickham of Corpus Christi, Texas and Butch Laird of Livingston, Texas and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins and close friends.

Tutu always had the prettiest yard on the block  and found so much joy in the outdoors.  She especially enjoyed the arrival of a new calf, her fish pond, and watching the birds from her back patio, a cup of coffee in hand.  Mom will be deeply missed, but the family takes comfort in knowing she’s with the Lord, dancing across Heaven.

Visitation will be from 3 P.M. until 8 P.M., with the family present from 6 P.M. until 8 P.M., Friday, August 15, 2014 at Sawyer-George Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10 A.M. Saturday, August 16, 2014 at Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel.

Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery in Odem, Texas.

Pallbearers will be Brady Fair, Ben Fair, Drew James, Weston James, Spencer Davis and Rob Adair.