Merle Allbritton Childress, 87, of Columbia, LA, went to be with her Lord and Savior on January 31, 2018 at the Haven Nursing Center with her devoted husband at her side. Family and friends will gather for a Celebration and Homecoming Service at Columbia Heights Baptist Church on Saturday, February 3 at 2pm with Bro. Warren Maxwell & Bro. Bryan Eason officiating. Visitation will be held Friday, February 2 at the church from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Interment will follow at Roberts Cemetery in Kelly LA. Pallbearers will be Craig Allbritton, Keith Childress, John Carroll, Jay Minard, Barry Bush and Tom Calloway. Honorary Pallbearers are Don Davis, Denva McKeithen, Jimmy Nugent, Gary Mayes and Ronnie Darden. Services are under the direction of Riser Funeral of Columbia.
Merle, affectionately known as Mamaw Merle, was born on August 5,1930 in Bayou Chicot, LA to the union of Wheeler A. Allbritton and Barbara Nugent Allbritton. She grew up in Tullos, LA and graduated from Urania High School. She met, Gerald, the love of her life, at Springhill Baptist Church and they were married for 67 years.
She was a dedicated Christian and prayer warrior, a devoted wife, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. She loved the Lord with all her heart and was a long time member of Columbia Heights Baptist Church where she sang in the choir, served on various committees and taught Sunday School for over 50 years.
She was an active member of Caldwell Parish Farm Bureau, Caldwell Parish Cowbelles, and also worked along side her husband in their many businesses for over 40 years, including Childress Beauty Shop. Mamaw Merle loved growing a vegetable garden every spring. She was an avid deer hunter, squirrel hunter and loved catching red bream from Beaucoup Creek. She was also known for her country cooking, particularly famous for her biscuits and her legendary cornbread. She hosted many fish fry’s and her annual crawfish boil at her beloved Big Cypress Lodge.
She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, Evelyn Allbritton, Cordie Newsom and brother-in-law Paul, Vera Grant and brother-in-law Jimmie and her brother, Norman Allbritton and sister-in-law Mardell.
Those left to continue her legacy are her beloved husband, Gerald, her sons, Danny and wife Fran of Collierville TN, Randy and wife Monica of Argyle TX, granddaughters, Ashley Childress, Kylie Childress, Ali Childress and Ericka Williamson and husband Wes, grandsons, Jared Childress, Tyler Madison and Hunter Madison, great-granddaughters Finley and Ellie Williamson, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Kenneth and Marie Childress and Bill and Bobbie Grace Rowe, her adopted grandchildren Kirsten, Tammy, Pam, Clark, Charley Kate, TD, Ben, Haley, Caleb, Addison and Aiden and a host of nieces, nephews, family and loving friends.
Mamaw Merle requested that donations be made to the Columbia Heights Baptist Church Building Fund in lieu of flowers.