Estelle “Sue” Burkhart (Barberousse), a longtime resident of Norman, passed away on December 17, 2020, at the age of 90. She left this world peacefully in her sleep.
Sue was born on March 13, 1930, in the town of Kenefic, Oklahoma, and grew up in nearby Antlers. There she met a handsome young man installing telephone lines named Donald Wayne Burkhart, who would become her loving husband for 57 years until his death in 2004. They were married at her parents’ home on November 22, 1947, and moved to Oklahoma City after Sue graduated from Antlers High School in 1948. Sue and Don lived a rich, full life together, traveling extensively and dodging the Oklahoma heat by summering in Colorado. They hosted countless family gatherings at their home in Norman and shared stories of the old days with their grandchildren.
Sue survived the Antlers tornado of 1945, which killed 67 people.
Sue loved OU football and held season tickets for many years. She would often give them to family members, mostly during cold weather. After raising three sons, Sue went to work at the OU bookstore on campus, spending her earnings shopping for shoes and indulging in ice cream with her beloved grandchildren.
She had many lifelong friends, including her fellow congregants of Northeast Baptist Church and her neighbors at Fiddlers Green, whom she met for breakfast every Monday.
Sue is survived by two sons, Donald Wayne “Sonny” Burkhart Jr. and his wife Corinne, of Oklahoma City, and James Victor “Jim” Burkhart and his wife Charity, of Norman. A third son, Thomas Dale “Tommy” Burkhart, passed away in 2009. Sue is survived by Tommy’s wife, Teresa Burkhart, of Norman.
Sue and Don had four grandchildren: Christine Burkhart and husband Chris Stetkiewicz of Seattle, Wash., Kari Autry and husband Chad of Tennessee, Tony Burkhart and fiancée Jennifer Howell, of Dallas, and Blake Burkhart and wife Elizabeth of Oklahoma City. Sue’s legacy also includes six great-grandchildren.
Sue was the third child of Nora (Goforth) Barberousse, a full-blooded Chickasaw born in Indian Territory, and Loris Victor Barberousse, a descendant of French explorers from Louisiana. She is preceded in death by her brother, Loris Victor “June” Barberousse II, and her sister Yvonne “Bon” Lempera.
The family would like to thank Arbor House and its staff for the excellent care they provided and for comforting Sue when COVID-19 prevented outside visitors.
Because of the pandemic, no service or viewing will be held.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Sue’s name to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (https://omrf.org), 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.
To plant a tree in memory of Estelle Burkhart, please click here.