Pat “Pops” Childress was a fourth-generation cotton farmer. His love for wildlife, hunting, and storytelling was widely known and only surpassed by his love for family. The feral hogs of Lynn County roamed carefree for the first time in 82 years when Pat left this world on April 14, 2023.
Pat was born to Clyde and Willie Mae Childress on July 20, 1940. He went on his first date with Melba Furlow on Halloween night in 1959. The only hunting trip he ever missed was to go on their second date. They married on June 10, 1961. Together they raised two children, Clay Childress and Kathy Childress Grant.
After 63 years of fighting the sand in Dawson, Lynn, and Terry Counties, Pat retired from farming in 2004. He continued guiding hunts for sand-hill cranes, quail, dove, ducks, geese, and feral hogs. A combination of laser-like marksmanship and an impressive ability to tell grand tales ensured all who hunted with Pat as clients, left as friends. Pat hunted across three continents and collected many wonderful memories. Many of them hang on the walls of his great room. Pat was an avid conservationist who also enjoyed raising various wild animals such as elk, fallow deer, goats, hogs, quail, pheasant and chukar. The Texas Family Land Heritage program is a recognition program that honors families who have owned and run a continuous agricultural operation for 100 years or more. In 2020, Childress Farms received this honor. Pat was a member of the First Baptist Church O’Donnell.
Pat was a cherished father and grandfather. He made sure his offspring always had a fresh cut watermelon, a place to hunt, and he would never let them run out of bullets. His parents, Clyde and Willie Mae Childress, brothers Elton and Mike Childress, and a granddaughter Kasha Grant preceded Pat in death. Pops is survived by his beloved wife, Melba Childress, children Clay Childress and Kathy Childress Grant. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Britt Childress, Amber Childress Runyon, Portia Grant, Chambry Grant, Patrick Grant and by six great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Abigail, and Ivey Childress, Tucker and Cooper Murdock, and Greyson Hennsley.
A time of reflection and visitation for Pat will be held from 5 PM to 7 PM on Monday, April 17, 2023, at Combest Family Funeral Home in O’Donnell, 510 8th Street. Celebration of Life Memorial Services will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the First Baptist Church O’Donnell, 701 Standefer Street, O’Donnell, Texas, with Reverend Taylor Wood and Mr. Jackie Stidham officiating. Celebration of Life Memorial Services will be under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Homes. A private burial will be held in the Plain View Cemetery, in Dawson County.
Pallbearers will be Bruce Vaughn, Richard Dixon, Christian Dixon, Brad Williams, Colt Middleton, Darryl Crutcher, Benny Gass and Colby Gass. Honorary pallbearers will be Tom Ed Vestal, Jerry Gass, Britt Robinson, Billy Russ, Don Blair, Tommy Woolam and John Crutcher.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Open Door Ministries at First Baptist Church in O’Donnell, 701 Standefer Street, O’Donnell, Texas 79351, or to the Lynn County Hospital District, 2600 Lockwood Street, Tahoka, Texas 79373.