Floral 07

Geraldine L. Childress

September 23, 1931 ~ April 23, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old


Our beautiful mom, the woman we thought would outlive us all, slipped peacefully the surly bonds of earth, and touched the face of God at dusk on April 23, 2023 while in the compassionate care of the staff Kittitas Valley Hospital.

Geraldine Louise Childress (Ross) was born September 23, 1931 in Yakima, WA to Julius Edward and Louise Frieda Ross, where she lived until graduating from Davis High School in 1950.  She attended Eastern Washington College of Education from 1950-1954.  She served as Homecoming Queen in 1952 and Sacagawea in the 1953-1954 school year (the official hostess for the college) and as a cheerleader.  She and her sister, Joyce Ward (McKinney, TX), were opposing college cheerleaders.  When their schools played against each other, at half time they switched sides and rooted for the other team…as did their parents (favoritism was strictly prohibited). She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education at EWCE. Mom taught at Morgan Junior High and she eventually settled in as a Montesorri educator here, in the Kittitas Valley.  She also met her future husband “Doc” Don Childress at EWCE.  Rumor has it that Mom was stuck in the snow and Dad rescued the damsel in distress…What is not rumor, was that she kept his dinner warm in the dining hall until after his athletic practice kept him too late for the dinner call.  They were married for 65 years before “Doc” was released to his heavenly realm in January of 2020.

Mom’s love for her Family and her faith were the biggest focus of her life.  She loved dancing with Dad (they could cut quite a rug), acting as administrative support, counselor and chief sign maker on his business ventures with her son, Dana and sewing costumes with and for her daughter, Anneliese (always worrying about how perfect the seams looked).  She even made it to the stage several times with Dad while performing two musicals with Valley Musical Theatre and a couple of ballets under the direction of Christine Hales.  Geraldine always supported her children’s dreams and aspirations. She made sure that both Dana and Anneliese knew how to cook, bake, and sew beginning at a young age.  She was a pioneer in healthy eating before it was all the rage, she made sure her family was clothed appropriately, and she snuck into her adult children’s houses on occasion, to tidy up and surprise them before they got home from work.  She loved to iron, bake, cook and to sing. She also loved and held a certain compassion for all animals, especially dogs. She had a passion for all things associated with the ocean, the mountains and certainly the huckleberries that lay within. She loved family get togethers especially when it included more of “the clan”.  She and Dad adopted college students during their educational journey at CWU (Greta/Greg Hanberg, John Palmer, Deborah Manly O’Brien, Patrick Higgins) and foreign exchange students (Naoko/Shigemi Sakumoto, Kyoko/Jim Durkee). Geraldine was a member of The First Lutheran Church for well over 50 years and was active in the Alter guild.  Nobody could decorate the alter area for Easter like Geraldine!  With her artistry and perfection driven work ethic, she could create beauty anywhere.  It was there that she was baptized with her two children.  She taught Vacation Bible School for many years (she loved children!), led and attended Bible Studies groups, and sang in the choir a bit as well.  Her unwavering faith held her strong through the good times and the bad, through thick and through thin.

Mom was a kind, compassionate and forgiving soul.  She treated people how she would have liked to be treated.  She was always willing to help where she could and always going up and beyond. 

Mama spent the last 4 1/2 years of her life at Prestige Acute and Rehabilitation Center.  Although she could not speak in a language all could understand, one only had to take her extended hand and look into Mama’s beautiful face to see the love in her eyes and the care she held for the one holding her hand. 

Geraldine was preceded in death by her husband Don “Doc” Childress, her brother-in-law’s Bob Ward, Gordon Dowd, sister-in-law’s Judy Childress, Betty Dowd, cousins Dick Dexter, Darlene Lundstrom, Bev Dexter.  She is survived by her sister Joyce Ward, brother-in-law Robert Childress, cousin-in-law Bob Lundstrom, her children Dana (Kay) Childress, Anneliese Childress, her grandchildren A.J. (Shayla) Winter, Dayce (Nicole) Childress, Alisha Hollenbeck (Reuben), Brandon and Cohen Callahan, great grandchildren Gunner Winter, Mylo Blevins and many other well loved and beloved nieces, nephews and cousins…Shannon (Mark), Robin (Andy), Julie, Kim (Ed), Kristen (Matt), Heather (Glen), Kirk, Erin (Sam), Eric (Maria), Cindy (Dave), Kamian, Mike(Jen), and Kent.

Dear Mama…We rejoice that you are free now from your physical bondage that you endured for many years. You are a true example of love, bold courage, persistence, faithfulness, and spiritual strength.  We thank God for giving you to us as a mom! You survived death, several more heart attacks, the onslaught of Lyme’s Disease, a deadly bout with E. coli, five strokes in a year and persevered through the many rounds of Covid that blew through “the home” and rang the winner’s bell. You are the TOUGHEST woman we have ever had the privilege of knowing in your time with us on earth.  We love you so much! We shall miss you ever so deeply and we will carry you in our hearts forever.  Until we meet again in the great hereafter Mom, we will carry the torch!

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 2023 in the Evenson Memorial Chapel at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg.


Memorial Service
May 5, 2023

2:00 PM
Evenson Memorial Chapel at Johnston & Williams
301 E. Third Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Video is available for this event


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