Merle A. Childress

Merle Allbritton Childress, 87, of Columbia, and formerly of Tullos, went to be with her Lord and Savior on January 31, 2018 at the Haven Nursing Center in Columbia with her devoted husband at her side. Merle, affectionately known as Mamaw Merle, was born on August 5,1930 in Bayou Chicot, LA to the union of Wheeler A. Allbritton and Barbara Nugent Allbritton. She grew up in Tullos, and graduated from Urania High School. She met Gerald, the love of her life, at Springhill Baptist Church and they were married for 67 years. She was a dedicated Christian and prayer warrior, a devoted wife, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. She loved the Lord with all her heart and was a long time member of Columbia Heights Baptist Church where she sang in the choir, served on various committees and taught Sunday School for over 50 years. She was an active member of Caldwell Parish Farm Bureau, Caldwell Parish Cowbelles, and also worked along side her husband in their many businesses for over 40 years, including Childress Beauty Shop. Mamaw Merle loved growing a vegetable garden every spring. Merle was an avid deer hunter, squirrel hunter and loved catching red bream from Beaucoup Creek. She was also known for her country cooking, particularly famous for her biscuits and her legendary cornbread. She hosted many fish fry’s and her annual crawfish boil at her beloved Big Cypress Lodge. A celebration and homecoming service was held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Columbia Heights Baptist Church with the Revs. Warren Maxwell and Bryan Eason officiating. Interment followed in Roberts Cemetery of Kelly under direction of Riser Funeral Home of Columbia. She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, Evelyn Allbritton, Cordie Newsom and brother-in-law Paul, Vera Grant and brother-in-law Jimmie and her brother, Norman Allbritton and sister-in-law Mardell. Those left to continue her legacy are her beloved husband, Gerald Childress; her sons, Danny Childress and wife Fran of Collierville TN, and Randy Childress and wife Monica of Argyle, TX; granddaughters, Ashley Childress, Kylie Childress, Ali Childress and Ericka Williamson and husband Wes; grandsons, Jared Childress, Tyler Madison and Hunter Madison; great-granddaughters, Finley and Ellie Williamson; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Kenneth and Marie Childress and Bill and Bobbie Grace Rowe; her adopted grandchildren, Kirsten, Tammy, Pam, Clark, Charley Kate, TD, Ben, Haley, Caleb, Addison and Aiden; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and loving friends. Pallbearers were Craig Allbritton, Keith Childress, John Carroll, Jay Minard, Barry Bush and Tom Calloway. Honorary Pallbearers were Don Davis, Denva McKeithen, Jimmy Nugent, Gary Mayes and Ronnie Darden. Mamaw Merle requested that memorials be made to the Columbia Heights Baptist Church Building Fund.

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