Cover photo for Anita Elms's Obituary
Anita Elms Profile Photo
1935 Anita 2022

Anita Elms

September 27, 1935 — February 4, 2022


Anita Childress Elms passed from this world on February 4, 2022.  Though small in stature, Anita leaves a large legacy in her hometown of Odessa and in her extended family. While we grieve her death, we also give thanks for her large life.

The youngest of four girls born to Marjorie and Jack Childress, Anita was adventurous and spirited. She had a happy childhood and is one of the rare people whose parents actually got her a pony when she was a child. While at Odessa High School (class of ’53) Nita was captain of the women’s swim team, the Naiads, and one of the four “Aces” on the diving team.  There she made many life-long friends, who kept in touch through work on class reunions.

Anita met Bill Elms while in high school. Their marriage of almost 60 years was filled with love, friends, family, travels, and four children: Tracy, Terri, Clark, and Steven.  Anita was an active, dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother—driving carpool, serving as room mother, teaching her children life skills and wisdom, leading a Girl Scout troop, cheering on at sports events, skiing in Ruidoso, and making holidays and visits memorable, especially at the 4E Ranch. She valued family and carefully passed on the family stories to the next generation. She was ever supportive of her family and celebrated their accomplishments.

Anita’s infectious smile was familiar across Odessa. She was a leader in Jaycee-ettes, working alongside her husband Bill, was active in the Republican party, and was a familiar face at the polls for decades.  She served as a leader in Pilot Club of Odessa and Junior League of Odessa.  She was an active member of 6th & Jackson Church of Christ for over 50 years.

For many years the Elms’ front yard with a pond with fish, lilies, and a bridge beneath the willow tree was one of the picturesque settings in Odessa.  Anita—all 4’ 10” of her—maintained the pond and lawn herself, including the annual pond muck-out.

There is no way to calculate how many loaves of friendship bread, cakes, pies, and cookies Anita made for others across the city and state, including local police and fire fighters. She excelled in gift-giving and letter-writing.

Anita loved music, especially country music. Her custom-made “various artist” CDs reveal her favorites: Willie, Clint Black, George Strait, and her local favorite, the Gatlin Brothers.

Anita was preceded in death by her son Steven Elms in 1988, her sister Doris Smith in 2008, and her husband Bill Elms in 2012. Celebrating her life are her children, Tracy, Terri, and Clark and their families, as well as sisters Jackie Bell and Janie Widner and extended family, all of whom loved Aunt Nita.

The family wishes to express its appreciation to the caregivers at the Courtyards Assisted Living for their care during Anita’s last days, as well as to caregivers Josie Carrera and Stephanie Lister.

A family burial will take place on Friday, February 11, at 2:00 p.m. and a memorial service at 3:00 at Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home followed by a reception at the Odessa Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center (non-profit providing speech/physical/occupational therapy and hearing services) or to the Texas Exes Steven Wade Elms Memorial Scholarship, which Anita supported for over 30 years with her attendance at the annual scholarship awards dinner.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anita Elms, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, February 11, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home

, Odessa, TX 79762

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