Judith E. Childress, a lifelong resident of Chewelah, passed away August 31, 2011, in Chewelah at the age of 72.
“It’s the little things we will miss like your Pepsi addiction, love of Lays potato chips, or a moment shared over a cup of freshly ground coffee. We’ll miss those times. Your silky soft hands, sandals in the summertime and the day’s choice of sunglasses; the infectious laugh, your love of music, swimming and the sun; and the car rides around the valley you loved so much are memories we’ll keep with us. True to the Taurus sign, you taught us about willpower, loyalty and fighting the good fight. You taught us to live and love simply. And, if there is a heaven, we’re confident you’ll be the best dressed gal in town.”
Judy was born on May 8, 1939 in Chewelah, the daughter of Walter Everett and Elaine Hester (Shepler) Goodman. She was a “quarry kid,” raised in the shadow of the Northwest Magnesite Company just south of Chewelah near Browns Lake, a lake named after her grandmother’s family.
When Judy wasn’t perfecting a tap dance routine or swimming at her beloved Browns Lake with homegrown tomatoes in hand, she was attending Jenkins High School. She graduated from there in 1957 as a 12-year senior. While in school, Judy was an accomplished musician and enjoyed playing the piano and clarinet as an accompanist. She also served as a librarian’s aid, a role which inspired, in part, her voracious appetite for reading. Mystery novels were her favorite.
After marrying high school sweetheart Robert L. “Mick” Childress in 1958, Judy studied secretarial science at Eastern Washington University and worked for the alumni association. She and Mick welcomed the first of three children, JuLee, in 1959. During a series of moves which took them to Fort Benning, GA; Fort Lewis in Anacortes, and then to the Spokane Valley, they welcomed two more children, Cindy (1963) and Mike (1967). The family returned home to Chewelah in 1974 where they operated the 49er Motel, the Sears Catalog Store, and a number of other business ventures.
Judy was well known for her honesty and no nonsense approach to life, pride in the Native American part of her heritage, and an outstanding fashion sense. Her talent for instinctively knowing how to create striking ensembles was appreciated by customers during her employment over eight years at both The Cherry Tree and The Main Corner clothing stores in the Colville valley. She was also a bargain hunter who enjoyed searching for treasures at garage sales; loving nothing more than to find a deal and create something remarkable from nothing in particular.
Judy is survived by her husband, Robert “Mick” Childress, at the home; daughters, JuLee Childress, Chewelah; Cindy Zerba (David), Colville; son, Mike Childress (Jennifer), Mead, and grandchildren Russell, Elaine, Timothy, Casey, Avron and Maura.
Judy’s family will remember her at a family gathering.
Memorial contributions may be made to Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital Long Term Care in Chewelah, or to the Salish School of Spokane (PO Box 10271, Spokane 99209).
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory was entrusted with arrangements.
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