of Benton, AR
December 7, 1929 - December 6, 2022
Elmer Childress of Benton, AR died on 12/6/22, just one day before his 93rd birthday. He passed away peacefully in his home with his wife June and daughter Debbie present. Elmer enjoyed a very full, rich life. He grew up in Bauxite, and went on the road with gospel quartets in his teens. He met his wife June when he was 19, and said it was love at first sight. They enjoyed 73 wonderful years together. They raised three daughters Pam, Debbie and Shari. After Elmer left the quartet business, he began working in radio and television in Wichita, KS. He hosted several TV shows at KARD, the NBC affiliate. The Elmer Childress Show, featuring his wife and three children, ran for 20 years. He also hosted a popular kids show called The KARD Gang Club. When kids would see him they would say, Mom, there is Uncle Elmer! The family recorded 15 record albums and performed gospel music all over the world. Elmer became the Weather Director in Madison, WI for the NBC affiliate, and worked there for 25 years. Elmer hosted a gospel radio show for Wichita, KS for decades, and another one for Monroe, WI, which he continued until late 2021. Throughout his television career he did lots of commercials and he and June hosted 46 trips all over the world with Holiday Vacations. Their trips were always very popular, as everyone loved Elmer's stories and jokes, and loved hearing both of them perform their gospel music. While with WMTV in Madison, Elmer was awarded Most Popular TV Personality and Governor Tommy Thompson awarded him a plaque declaring 1/30/98 as Elmer Childress Day. Elmer retired in 2006, and they moved to Benton, AR. Elmer was inducted into the Bauxite Wall Of Fame in October, 2021. Elmer could say he never worked a day in his life because he loved everything he did, and felt blessed to have a long career doing what he loved. People who watched him on television, listened to his albums and radio shows, appreciated his distinctive piano style, beautiful singing voice and his down to earth, relaxed and fun personality. Elmer was a strong Christian who was a good, kind, supportive and loving man who had a quick wit, and made everyone around him feel comfortable. Elmer is survived by his wife June, daughters Debbie and Shari, grand children Justin, Becky and Nick, and great granddaughter Sirena. Their oldest daughter Pam passed away in 2021. Elmer is now rejoicing in heaven with his daughter, mother, father, sister, bothers and other family and friends who preceded him. The video below was created by WMTV in Madison and aired on television before he retired. It shows Elmer through the years doing what he loved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkSsHqFQgawThe family has asked, in lieu of flowers, that donations go to Trinity Baptist Church, 702 Church St, Benton, AR 72015.
My deepest sympathies to the family. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I always enjoyed listening to him..He was always smiling. My prayers are with you all.
So sorry to hear of your loss but rejoicing in heavens gain! My parents, George & Florence Behnke, Bushton, KS, watched your program every noon day. If I recall, I think you sang at our country church, Salem Methodist Church, Bushton. Then I seem to remember you came over to their house. The past several years I have been thinking of your family. I have been finding and buying your albums in thrift stores. Brings back many good memories. What a wonderful tribute on YouTube!
I've had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Childress for the past 4 years. Always looked forward to seeing him. He was always so happy and had a beautiful smile on his face no matter how he was feeling. Loved hearing all his stories about his family and his travels. Clinic won't be the same without him. Will miss him truly.
It was such a pleasure to interview Elmer and listen to his life stories. Prayers for his partner and loving wife, June, who was also a delight to visit with when in their home. Rest In Peace on God’s Perfect Home, Elmer. You will be missed by all of us.