Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Robert Henry (Chilly) Childress: 1941-2009

I can't say enough good things about my friend. Chilly was a very special person and I'm going to miss him dearly.

When we worked together at LMW, he was always willing to listen and offer advice and he told some of the funniest and most memorable stories I've ever heard. Even after I left the company and his hours got cut, he would look me up wherever I was and even had a bus driver stop a Valley Metro bus just so he could say hi to me when I was walking down the street! No one would have done that but Chilly; he was that kind of person.

Robert Henry (Chilly) Childress, of Roanoke, Va., the oldest of 12 children was born on October 10, 1941, to the late Isaac H. Childress and Julia M. Millner Childress in Roanoke, Va. After a brief illness he departed this life on Friday, March 13, 2009, at Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Va. Robert was educated in the Roanoke School District and upon graduation from Lucy Addison High, left to serve for seven years in the United States Army. While stationed in Valley Forge, Pa., he met and married Shirley Coleman on July 31, 1965 and resided in Norristown, Pa. From this union were two children, Denise Michelle and Robert. Chilly worked for many years and was said to have been one of the best bartenders in the North. He had many skills and the last was with LMW Engineering Architecture Surveying Corporation, who stated "he was very diligent in his employment and a philosopher." Robert will be remembered by his son, Robert H. Childress Jr. (Valarie); siblings, Calvin E. Childress, Martha A. Childress, Harry T. (aka Joe) Childress, Roszella Cunningham, Lynwood Perry Childress, Wayne M. Childress (Yolanda), of Roanoke, the Reverend Helen M.C. Jones (John), Theresa L. White, of Norristown, Pa., Julia M. Childress, of Tampa, Fla., Teresa C. McClendon (Rev. Michael) and Timothy E. Childress, of Palm Beach, Fla.; three grandchildren, Troy Childress, Tyler Childress and Tamra Childress, of Norristown, Pa.; two aunts, Martha G. Williams (Bill), of Washington, D.C., and Della Millner, of Roanoke, Va.; a host of relatives, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; and family friends, Melvin Saunders, James Bryant, Steve Stewart, Nilda Sierra, and Patricia Cooper. He was preceded in death by his parents, Isaac H. (March 1980) and Julia M. Childress (November 1997); daughter, Denise Michelle Childress (August 13, 1999); and brother, Isaac N. Childress (July 1965). Memorial services will be held 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2009, at Trinity Community Baptist Church, 1814 Carroll Ave., Roanoke. Arrangements by Lotz Funeral Home, Roanoke, Va.