MONTE VISTA — Jay “Doc” Childress was born September 19, 1922 in Reedy Ville, Kentucky. His parents moved their young family of nine children to the dryer climate of Colorado in a flatbed truck. They settled in Grand Junction where Jay graduated from High School. His first paying job was delivering bouquets of flowers on his bicycle to patients at Saint Mary’s Hospital. It was there that he passed away October 10, 2020 at noon after suffering a broken hip at the age of 98.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents Clifford and Kate (Ellis) Childress, seven siblings, and his beloved wife Maudie. He is survived by his sister, Katie (John) Newport; daughters, Janice (Randy) Knutson and Jenna (Jeff Hinkley); four grandchildren: Nick (Erika) Knutson, Eric (Amy) Deutcher, Matt Knutson and Christel (Ty) Apodaca; eight great grandchildren: Jack, Ryne, Camdon, Marshall, MaudieJean, Grace, Paxton and Kenzie; and numerous nieces and nephews. He will also be greatly missed by close friends Carla Christensen and Dr. Ken Sullins.
As a teenager Jay loved every summer working the horses and cattle on the Ruckman Ranch near Meeker. At ages of 19 he and Maudie Ruckman were married. They both worked at Armour Meat Packing in Denver. He also was a Vet Technician before joining the Army and serving in Korea as a Medic. Upon returning he attended CSU using the GI Bill and graduating in 1950 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
Jay and Maudie moved to Monte Vista, Co. with their two girls in 1952 and purchased the Vet practice of Dr. A.G. Wadleigh. It became Childress Veterinary Hospital and is now Alpine Veterinary Hospital. Starting Conour Animal Shelter in his later years was one of his projects he was most proud of. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Monte Vista, Hermit Lakes Recreation Inc., and American Veterinary Medical Assoc. He was a founder and leader of the 4H Horse Club, Grand Marshall of the Ski Hi Stampede along with Maudie, and an advisor of the Triple L Youth Ranch. Jay was appointed by the Governor to sit on the Colorado Wildlife Commission and served 7 years.
Through the years, Jay enjoyed mentoring, teaching, and encouraging many students and his grandchildren to study hard and work hard. “Life is what you make it” was one of his guiding principles.
Things he loved were family, horses, a good dog, dancing with Maudie, fishing, hunting, “gun rights”, reading, writing, telling a good joke or story, country music, the sun on his back, and a cold fresh breeze on his face. His favorite activity even until very recently was being outside managing the water, feed, and cattle on his ranch. Jay will be missed by many.
A Memorial Visitation to honor his life, will be Saturday November 21, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Monte Vista United Methodist Church 215 Washington Street.
Donations can be made to Beaver Creek Youth Camp, in care of Monte Vista United Methodist Church.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Strohmayer’s Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed at their website, [email protected]