Susan Gilmore

Susan D. Gilmore, 57, of Enterprise passed away July 27, 2022.

Susan was our loving and devoted family member and a friend to all whose lives she touched.

She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1965 and was raised primarily in Enterprise and Troy.  

Funeral services were Thursday, July 28, at HighPointe Church in Enterprise with Pastor Derek Williams officiating.  Burial followed at Meadowlawn Cemetery with Sorrells Funeral Home directing.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Southern Broadway Theater, LLC Scholarship Fund in memory of Susan Gilmore, The ESCC Foundation, Southern Broadway Theater Scholarship in memory of Susan Gilmore, P.O. Box 1300, Enterprise, AL 36331

Although she came from humble beginnings, Susan often spoke of the goodness of God and never hesitated to tell others that God had blessed her tremendously.  She lived a full and abundant life. She travelled numerous times for work and for adventure, and lived abroad doing mission work for six months in the Ukraine.

She had a rich and varied work history. Graduating from Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Susan then attended Enterprise State Community College and decided to attend culinary school afterward. She went on to work as a chef at the Rawls Restaurant in the 1980s under Hayden Pursley. She was a true “foodie” at heart and a magnificent cook. Not only was she passionate about food and cooking, but she enjoyed the entire process of procuring, preparing, and serving food, and creatively designing menus and recipes. Having a keen business sense, Susan also went on to manage two different restaurant establishments in Dothan and Enterprise in the 1990s.  

In the mid-90s when the Internet exploded in the consumer marketplace, Susan took an interest in computer technology and decided to change tracks, attending Troy University and graduating in 1999 with a degree in Computer Science and Business Administration. She then worked for MacArthur State Technical College as a course designer and developer for their newly launched distance learning department until 2003. During this time she completed her Master of Education from Troy University in Instructional Technology. She then took a position with Troy University from 2003 to 2007, working as a learning management system administrator and course developer. In 2007 she began working for Kaplan University and in 2010 she moved to Education Management Corporation as a multi-media designer.  

Also in 2010 she, along with her business partner Lydia Dillingham, formed Southern Broadway Theater, LLC which was a dream fulfilled as she had always wanted to own and operate her own business. Southern Broadway first began offering dinner shows from a rented venue, and in 2015 the theater company purchased and renovated a historic building in downtown Enterprise. Susan worked tirelessly helping with the deconstruction phase, undertaking tasks such as rising 30 feet up in the scissor lift to remove age-old plaster and reveal the beautiful historic brick underneath. As the business grew, Susan shifted to working full-time for her own company and it became a place for her to utilize her variety of strengths, tying together her love for cooking and her business and computer skills for web and graphic designing. She also took great pleasure in helping to conceptualize and give input during the re-construction phase to the layout of the venue, particularly the kitchen.

After construction she reveled in planning and executing every aspect of the food preparation and food service as the company’s Executive Chef. She wore many hats, serving as box office manager, keeping the books, and designing and building sets for the productions with the help of various devoted and dearly loved set crew members. She developed carpentry skills at an early age, learning them from her father Glen Gilmore, and was able to utilize them to the fullest for the imaginary worlds she envisioned and created for the stage. Her work was seen in over a total of 650 individual show productions in the past 12 years.    

Through the years, Susan developed and enjoyed many friendships. She had a wonderful sense of humor, and always retained the ability to laugh at herself even in some of her last days on earth. She was also a music lover who had a sweet clear voice and an ear for harmony. She had a servant’s heart and absolutely loved to help any person in need whether friend, family or stranger. She was often heard saying, “How can I help you?  Please tell me.” The number of people she inspired, served, and affected are numerous.

Susan was a woman of faith who loved and lived the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in February 2017 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, her illness did not dampen her faith but only served to fuel her commitment to God. She leaned into Him in full surrender and continued her journey with incredible resolve, tenacity, courage, strength and endurance. She had a heart of gratitude and she did not take one day for granted. She said God planted a phrase in her mind which was “God does not make bad days!” explaining that every day that she woke and God put breath in her lungs was a great day, and she wanted to face it with purpose. In her illness, she opened her heart further to the service of others, saying that it helped to bring her joy and kept her from focusing on her own problems. She loved deeply, and was both empathetic and generous, holding no judgement over anyone.  

In her earlier years, she was an active member of College Avenue Church of Christ and later an active member of HighPointe Church in Enterprise, holding close to her beloved church family until her death. Her life was a living example of Philippians 2:3 – 7 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships, have the same mindset of Christ Jesus . . . who made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.”

 She was the daughter of the late Glenn Motley Gilmore and Alice Fuller Gilmore.  She leaves behind her beloved sisters Julia Reagan and Deanna Gilmore; her beloved family by choice, Paul, Lydia, Curtis and Andrea Dillingham, who she lived with for the past 28 years. She was the beloved stepdaughter of Mary Ellen Gilmore and beloved stepsister to Jeanine Roberts, Renee Goodson (Phil), and Ceola Odom. All of these she loved and touched deeply. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.

Sorrells Funeral Home and Crematory of Enterprise, (334) 347-9598, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting www.sorrellsfuneralhomeenterprise.com

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