Earl Keith Childress

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.  



  • Aldrich Family Posted June 11, 2023 8:42 am

    We always loved seeing Keith and Marilyn at get togethers at Alicia’s. Keith was a dear, dear man in every way. May he rest in peace and continue to spread his kindness and love from heaven above!

  • Bob Wineland. Midland Printing Posted June 12, 2023 11:11 am

    I was fortunate to know Keith for a short time. He was always smiling and upbeat and willing to talk or help anyone he was around. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of his loved ones during this difficult time.

  • Laura I. Lemcke Posted June 13, 2023 7:01 pm

    Keith was my boss in printing for many years and my best memory with him was Omaha Steaks when we had to put the printing out. Keith taught me a lot about being on a team and I will greatly miss his knowledge. Sending my condolences.

  • Ann Huber Posted June 14, 2023 12:51 pm

    Tim and I have such fond memories of our time as neighbors across the street and we’ll always remember the cannon going off when the Huskers scored! Keith was always so friendly and had a cheerful smile to share. We’re thinking of you, Marilyn and all of your family during this time.

  • Jon Kragt Posted June 15, 2023 4:07 pm

    Keith was the heart and soul of the Wednesday golf league. I will always remember that wooden putter that I called a 2 by 4 on a stick. He was so accurate with it that he beat me almost every time he used it. We always had a good laugh over that.

  • Melissa Panella Posted June 16, 2023 10:10 am

    My condolences to the Childress Family. In time, may you find some comfort in the happy memories of a life well-lived. God bless!

  • Jim ball Posted June 16, 2023 1:19 pm

    We will all miss this friend and Optimist. Love and prayers for everyone’s loss..

  • Melissa Vanek Posted June 19, 2023 9:33 am

    Keith had a kind and gentle soul. He would always ask about how my family was doing when he was at an Optimist meeting. He was a great advocate for youth and willing to help out where he could. He will be greatly missed! Prayers for Marilyn and your family.

  • Marie Payton Posted June 22, 2023 1:31 pm

    I met Keith when I went to work for Heartland Center and remained close business associates and friends until he did the last print job for me and told me he was retiring. He always had great suggestions on how to make every project turn out just right. Over the years he shared with me stories about his family, golf and work. Keith always has a smile on his face and would light up when he talked about his Wed golf league! As Heartland Center continued to grow over the years I would call on Keith more frequently for jobs of all sizes and never once did he complain about the treatments he was going through or let it bother him that he couldn’t hit the golf ball as far as he used to, he was just happy to be on the course. Keith, it was all my pleasure to be in your company over the past 10+ years, I hope you are swinging that golf club in heaven. Rest in Peace my friend and know I will continue to work closely with your colleagues at Midlands for many years to come.

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