Earl Keith Childress
April 24, 1943 – June 9, 2023
VISITATION: Friday, June 16th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, June 17th at 10am at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 3405 S. 118th St. Interment, Resurrection Cemetery with Military Honors. Memorials are suggested to Optimist International Foundation or American Cancer Society.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
Earl Keith Childress, 80 of Omaha, Nebraska, died on June 9, 2023. He was born on April 24, 1943 in Joplin, MO to Howard and Dema “Betty” (Smith) Childress.
Keith grew up in the small town of Baxter Springs, Kansas, on Route 66. Here he spent his childhood fishing with his grandfather and swimming in Five Mile Creek. After high school, he joined the Army and spent time in Fort Gordon, Georgia. After his service, he went on to work as an ad salesman for a radio station in Topeka, Kansas. Here he would meet his future wife, Marilyn. Together they moved to Omaha, Nebraska where Keith soon opened his own printing company, MACK (Marilyn-Alicia-CeAnn-Keith) Printing, in 1980. It was a thriving business, he sold it to Midland Printing in 2009, and he continued to grow their mailing department. He loved his work and everyone involved with it. He kept doing what he loved until his retirement in 2022.
He spent many years devoting his time to the Optimist club both locally and regionally, serving as local president, and state Governor 1977-78. He and his family went to many Optimist International conventions across the country and enjoyed his many fellow Optimist friends.
Since high school, one of his favorite pastimes was golf. He joined the Army Battalion golf team, where he played a round every day, and kept playing until he physically couldn’t play anymore. He loved his Wednesday night golf league and continued to serve as treasurer for many years. His favorite time of the league was steak night, where he grilled out steaks for the entire group.
Keith never met a stranger he couldn’t befriend. He loved meeting and getting to know people. To Keith honesty, loyalty and hard work are some of the most important traits a person could have, yet empathy and understanding were always present in his actions and words.
Keith is survived by his wife of more than 55 years, Marilyn (Engelke) Childress; daughters, CeAnn (Childress) Cruise and husband Dennis Cruise of Overland Park, Kansas, and Alicia (Childress) Hardin and husband Mike Hardin of Malcolm, Nebraska; grandchildren: Hannah Cruise, Haley Cruise, Aidan Hardin and Ethan Hardin. In addition, he is survived by his brother, Gregg Childress and wife Mary Anne of Topeka, Kansas; stepbrother, Steve Brewster of Topeka, Kansas; and stepsister, Barbara Whisman of Topeka, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his brother, Howard William “Bill” Childress, Jr.