Kay Pirtle died at the age of 80 on Saturday October 8, 2022 in Norman, Oklahoma. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and the friend who could always be counted on to help or just listen.
Kay was born March 16, 1942, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Hollie C. and Marjorie (Churchill) Crouch. She lived in Clarksville, Arkansas, and then Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1960. She attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and met her future husband Kin at the Baptist Student Union.
Kay and Kin were married on September 2, 1961, in Tulsa, two weeks before he began medical school at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Kay earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1964. After Kin’s specialty training in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Oklahoma City, and two years of Air Force service in Biloxi, Mississippi , the family settled in Norman in 1972.
Kay had a heart for service and a special love for college students and young adults who began at Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and continued in Biloxi at Base Chapel and First Baptist Church. She and Kin opened their home and provided meals and fellowship.
In Norman, they ran the First Baptist Church’s varsity program for nearly 20 years, hosting weekly holiday gatherings and swim nights, supporting annual ski trips, and generally serving as a home for many. She maintained many of these relationships throughout her life.
For 25 years, Kin and Kay bred Appaloosa racehorses, with Kay handling the day-to-day details. Their horses have won many races and the breeding mares have won awards. In 2019 they were inducted into the National Appaloosa Racing Hall of Fame.
Kay has been involved in her children’s lives in every way possible and has also served on various church committees, Oklahoma Appaloosa Racing Association, McClain County 911 Board, Goldsby (Oklahoma) Planning Commission, and served as an election official. Holidays and traditions were important to her, and she and Kin hosted the same families for Easter on their farm for 35 years.
Survivors include her 61-year-old husband, Kin; daughter Keli of Norman and partner Mark Hooper, and son Keith and wife Audrey of Norman; four grandchildren Mallory Ethridge and her husband Zack of Conroe, Texas, Trey Pirtle and his wife Zoya of Crestview, Florida, Cary Pirtle and Abby Pirtle of Norman; five great-grandchildren Foster Ethridge, Hudson Ethridge, Lily Ethridge, William Nichols Pirtle and Poet Pirtle.
Private interment will be in Washington Cemetery, Oklahoma. The memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at First Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma, with Mike Bumgarner officiating, and a reception will follow at Hallock Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Buford S. Green Memorial Scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, an endowment fund established by the Pirtles in honor of their adopted son and brother to provide scholarships minority students majoring in music education. . Donations can be made by mail to: OU Foundation, PO Box 258856, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please note fund #6452000. Services are run by Tribute Memorial Care, and condolences can be shared at www.tribute.care.