Gerald Huey Childress, businessman and lifelong resident of Caldwell Parish, went to his Heavenly Home on December 4, 2020 at Citizens Medical Center after an extended illness. He was 91.
Family and close friends will gather for a Private Graveside Service on Tuesday, December 8, 2pm at Roberts Cemetery outside of Kelly LA with Bro. Warren Maxwell and Jay Minard officiating. (Anyone attending the service should remember Hwy 506 is closed so access to the cemetery must be obtained by going through Grayson to Childress Rd. or Olla to Hooterville Road.) Pallbearers will be Drew Keahey, Bob Wallace, Scott Meredith, Steve Gregory, Charles Braddock and Jimmy Nugent. Honorary Pallbearers are Ronnie Darden, Lawrence Bingham, Dr. Pankaj Shroff, Don Davis and his Men’s Sunday School Class and Members of Spring Hunting Club. The family respectfully requests that due to the pandemic, masks and social distancing be observed at all times.
A Celebration of Mr Gerald’s remarkable life will be held at a later date in 2021.
Mr Gerald was born on February 19, 1929 in a log cabin in Ward Six outside Kelly LA to the union of Bob and Sara Grace Childress. He grew up on their small hill farm during the Great Depression. He was a graduate of Kelly High School. He met, Merle, the love of his life, at Springhill Baptist Church and they were married for 67 years.
He and Merle joined Columbia Heights Baptist Church one year after it began and actively attended for over 60 years. Gerald proudly served as President of his Men’s Sunday School Class.
He and Merle started their first business venture upon high school graduation with Kelly Mercantile. He answered the call and served his country during the Korean Conflict. After the army, he became a barber, first on Main Street in Columbia and later in his own shop on the highway. It was there he parlayed his business skill into cattle ranching, row crop farming, farm supply, cotton brokerage, timberland, logging and commercial real estate development. He loved politics and was a lifelong Louisiana Blue Dog Democrat. He was appointed as Colonel aide de camp by 2 Louisiana Governor’s, John J McKeithen and Edwin Edwards. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing all his life. He was a founder of Spring Hunting Club and built his beloved Big Cypress Lodge adjacent to the club. He was a renowned storyteller. He held court on the porch of the camp most every Saturday morning, especially during deer season.
He was preceded in death by his parents and beloved wife, Merle, brothers Vercie, Melvis, Robert Mitchell and Carl Childress, and sister, Virginia Childress McDaniel.
Those left to continue his legacy are his sons, Danny and wife Fran of Columbia, Randy and wife Monica of Argyle TX, granddaughters, Ashley Childress, Kylie Childress, Ali Childress, Ericka Williamson and husband Wes, grandsons, Jared Childress, Tyler Madison and Hunter Madison, great-granddaughters Finley and Ellie Williamson, brother, Kenneth Childress and wife Marie, sister, Bobbie Grace Rowe and husband Bill, and all his special adopted grandchildren and great grandchildren Kirsten, Tammy, Pam, Clark, Charley Kate, Ben, TD, Haley, Caleb, Addison and Aiden, plus a host of nieces, nephews, family and many loving friends.
A Special Thanks to the Haven Nursing Center Staff and to Citizens Medical Center for their loving and compassionate care.
Mr Gerald requested that donations be made to the Columbia Heights Baptist Church Building Fund in lieu of flowers.
As he told his grandchildren……”leave the woodpile a little higher than you found it”. He did.