News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Catherine Johnston Childress, November 13, 1945 — September 2, 2021

On September 2, Catherine Johnston Childress left this earth when God called her home following a long journey with heart complications. Her daughter and dear friends were at her side.

Catherine (KT or Kay to some), 75, was born November 13, 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up. She went to West Fulton High School followed by LaGrange College, where she obtained her master’s degree in English literature. She then taught English at Therrell High School in Atlanta. As rewarding as teaching was, she took a chance when a friend invited her to try a sales position in the telecom industry. She thrived in that position and advanced through many acquisitions, ultimately becoming senior director of Sprint National Telecom Sales. She was a trailblazer in the industry, being one of the few women in that time to lead at this level.

In 1984, she met her love, David W. Childress, when she was on a business trip in Portland, Oregon. They married March 26, 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, they moved to Kansas City, Missouri where she worked at Sprint headquarters. During their years in Kansas City, they built a vacation home in Yachats, Oregon, where they visited and later retired in 2002. She then returned to teaching for a few years on the coast before finding Sisters on a trip in 2005, when they moved to their newly found special place.

Catherine loved contributing to her community. From 2012 to 2014 she served on the Sisters City Council. She was an expert knitter and taught classes for a period of time at Stitchin’ Post. She was an avid reader. She enjoyed Bible studies with her friends. She loved to cook and entertain and celebrate any occasion. While living in Sisters, Catherine attended The Chapel in the Pines in Camp Sherman and loved her church community, where she participated in the choir for a time. She was a patriot and was not afraid to speak up to show her support for our country. Catherine was the best “Mimi” the grand-girls could ask for.

Catherine valued her family and friends, her faith in Jesus, and maintained a deep love for her country and strived to live each day as a gift. She was loved for her ability to reach out and build community and was the first in line to help others. Her wit and intellect were unparalleled.

Catherine is survived by her daughter, Andrea Childress (Felix Miret) of Eugene; granddaughters, Fina and Mariona Miret of Eugene; aunt, Wilma Gilstrap (Brookville, Pennsylvania), and cousins Donald Gray (Atlanta, Georgia), and Cathy McCauley (Jacksonville, Florida.)

Catherine was preceded in death by her husband, David W. Childress; father, Joseph Johnston; mother, Nell Johnston (Gilstrap); and her Johnston and Gilstrap grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

The family wishes to thank their friends and the staff at St. Charles Hospital, and the amazing cardiology staff at the heart and lung center for their love, support, and quality of care.

She will be so deeply missed. We celebrate that she is now singing with the angels in heaven. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at The Chapel in the Pines, Camp Sherman, on Saturday, September 25, at 11 a.m., with Jerry Kvanvig leading. A reception will follow at Camp Sherman Community Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to The Chapel in the Pines, c/o 300 W. Hood Ave., Sisters, OR 97759.


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