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Jimmy J. Childress, “affectionately called Jimmy-Joe, daddy, papa, and at times, Henry” was born June 24, 1935, in Bigalow, Arkansas. He went to Heaven on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at the age of 88, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Jim was the middle child born to Donald Delbert Childress and Lois Gertrude (Brown) Childress, a sharecropper, and a homemaker, respectfully.
Jim attended school in Bigalow, Arkansas until moving to Porter, Oklahoma at the age of 12. He graduated from Portor High School.
He is survived by brother, Dr. Bill D. Childress (Judy), wife, Mary Childress, sons, Chase Childress (Lisa), David McRae (Eva), daughters, Chelbi O’Hara (Gary), Chanin Cutsinger (Van), grandchildren Zian Childress, Zane George (Sara), Jaden Pendergras (Britten), Darian Smith (Eli Pederson), Rush O’Hara, Jacob Main, Kingston Cutsinger and Sadie Gardner. great-grandchildren: Jack George, Charlie Thompson, Karsen Pendergras, Kenlee Pendergras, Kashtin Pederson, Elia Pederson and Peyton Smith, niece Candi Tower (Wade), nephews Jason Childress (Emily) and Matthew Childress (Fonda), brother-in-law, Ronnie Whitewater (Linda) and sister-n-law, Peggy Goad (Vernon).
Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, his brother Weldon Houston Childress, his twin son’s Justin and Rush Childress, nephew’s Cash Childress and Mark Childress and mother-n-law, Maye B. Whitewater.
After graduating high school, he briefly worked at Muskogee Phoenix in sales. He then began his career in automobile sales; always advancing to management positions. Jim worked in dealerships in Tulsa, Norman, Oklahoma and Lubbock, Texas. One thing Jimmy loved was the “thrill of closing a sale!”, he was a natural. After working for many dealerships, he owned and operated several car lots of his own.
Mary L. Whitewater became his wife in 1964. To this union was born a son, Chase, daughter, Chanin, and daughter Chelbi. Then, the joy of all; identical twin boys, Justin, and Rush! His oldest son, David, by a previous marriage.
While raising the kids, Jim was encouraging and actively involved in sports, from baseball, softball, football, basketball to wrestling; all kids played some type of sport, and he never missed a game! Many hours were spent with the family sitting in gym bleachers, football fields and baseball diamonds. Traveling to and from games and practices were the highlight of his life; and meant the world to him. Jim was the most affectionate father and was never ashamed to show it. He loved to kiss his children before they ever left his site and always said “daddy loves you”.
Jim loved sports so much, he was known to have 2 or sometimes 4 or more tv’s playing at a time in a room so he wouldn’t miss a ballgame! We cannot fail to mention how much he loved to read his newspapers. Jimmy had to have the Muskogee Phoenix, the Tulsa World, and Oklahoma City Daily… just 3 a day was good for him! Another great love of his, was for him to tell his “embellished stories” a lifetime of recollections. Having a quick-wit and a great sense of humor got him through life.
If his kids advanced in anything, whether it be sports, sales, or having a sense of humor, he always said, “they got that from me”.
He loved to brag about being the best basketball player Portor School ever had! He also made sure everyone knew, while in school, he always played the lead role in any play the school had. He loved to emphasis, “the lead”, not just any role, but the lead role was what he played. He used to tell his kids if they were to walk down the halls of Porter school, it’s his picture they would see everywhere because he was just that popular!
After retiring out of the car industry, he started a family business that he named Black Diamond Asphalt. He tried to think up a name that started with an “A” so he could be first in the yellow pages, but too many were taken, so he came up with Black Diamond because it started with a “B” which was next in line. His whole point was to make sure people would see his ad first before his brother Bill’s company, which was named C&C Asphalt! He loved to tell that story and got a big kick out of being first in line to be called for any work. His son Chase took over the business so Jim could enjoy time in his retirement. He was notorious for showing up on job sites in either his little blue Miata convertible or his silver Mercedes convertible with his dog Beana. He would give them wise advice on better ways of doing asphalt work while they slaved away in the hot son!
Jimmy loved his cars and was known to have at least 4 to 6 at all times; every one of them was special to him. Each one had a great story that he would tell his children about how he got them.
Jim will be missed terribly, he truly was, “one-of-kind”, always joking and kidding, but in his serious moments, deeply loving his children, Mary, and all his family. He had a special bond with his brother Bill and loved to tell stories about them to his kids. He had such a deep love for Bill, and just loved being around him anytime he could. Even if it was an hour, he would talk about how much that hour meant to him and would just say he didn’t want it to end. His love for Bill was so special and he got so excited anytime Bill was able to make it by to see him. He thought Bill hung the moon. They both have the same personalities and it showed whenever they got together. There wasn’t anything but laughter when you got them together, it was such a special bond not many get to have in life; but they did. They were two of a kind. All those moments spent with Bill meant the world to Jim.
Jim lived a rich, full life, centered around his children. He and his family suffered a great heart break when losing his twin boys within three years of each other. Rush in 2005, and Justin in 2008. Only God could heal that great hurt and grief from the loss of his twin boys. There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t think of them or shed a tear when he would talk about them. He would always say, won’t it be so good when we get to see them again. He looked forward to that day. This year will be the best Christmas present he could have ever wished for.
Jim was raised in a Christian home and received Jesus as a young child. In the last five years of his life, he was very interested in Heaven. In talking with Chanin, he did not fear death. He was ready to go and be reunited with the twin boys, his family and Jesus, whenever that day was to come. He was looking forward to Heaven, and had great courage about it, no fear of it. When he passed from this life and left for Heaven, he was surrounded by all his children. What a comfort he must have felt to have their love and kisses before he left.
We celebrate his colorful life today knowing he is at peace and has been made whole again. He has been reunited with the twins and other family members that went to Heaven before him, and most importantly, he is walking side by side with his Savior-Jesus. Jimmy had a great desire that all his family and loved ones would come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, so he could see and be with them again and that they too would experience Heaven and to be in the presence of the Lord.
Jim will be in our hearts and in our memories FOREVER; he is gone from this earth but will never be forgotten. He’s more alive now than he ever was here, and we will see him again.
A visitation for Jimmy will be held from 12:00 - 8:00 pm on Monday, January 1, 2024, at Brown Funeral Home in Coweta, OK, with the family present from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. A service celebrating Jimmy’s life will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at Brown Funeral Home Chapel, in Coweta, OK with Pastor Wade Tower officiating. Jimmy will be laid to rest at Greenhill Cemetery in Muskogee, OK.
Family and friends are invited to share memories online at www.brownfamilycares.com. The family of Jimmy Childress entrusted his care and services to Brown Funeral Home & Cremations, 210 S. Broadway, Coweta, OK, 74429, 918-486-5515.