1944 ~ 2021
Florence Ann “Annie” Childress left this life peacefully at home on September 28, 2021. The eldest of two daughters born to Gertrude and Earl Bailey, she grew up in Barboursville and graduated from Orange County High School.
Florence is survived by her husband of 29 years, Robert Childress; his daughter, Elizabeth Dittmar (Robert) of Charlottesville; his sister, Gayle Miller (Gary) of Barboursville; double first cousins and special friends, Joe and Charlotte Bailey of Barboursville; and a host of cousins, nieces and additional friends.
Florence spent 27 years working for Sperry Marine in Charlottesville until 1992 when she and her husband moved to Phoenix, Arizona to start a new life. In Arizona, Florence found her calling working for home builder Del Webb and his successor company Pulte Homes, as a human resources manager and later as a customer service manager. She has often commented that she wished she had discovered the home construction industry earlier in her life. At Del Webb and Pulte Homes, she has won numerous awards, including a trip to Hawaii as one of Arizona’s Top 5 Employees. The couple moved to South Carolina in 2004, where Florence was appointed head of human resources and customer service for the Greenville division of Lennar Homes. Returning to Barboursville in 2011, she refused to retire, instead working as the director of human resources for The Village at Gordon House in Gordonsville, Virginia, until 2018.
Florence loved gardening, especially growing vegetables. She particularly enjoyed heirloom tomatoes and saved her own seeds every year for the next planting. She also believed that there was no limit to the number of peppers needed to feed two people and often harvested a hundred or more for sautéing, stuffing or freezing. Whether it was tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, Swiss chard, onions or kale, his motto was “more is better”. Why only plant 2 plants when planting 10 (or 20) is more fun?
She had a great sense of humor, was kind to people who treated her well, loved Manx cats, smiled quickly and couldn’t stand fools with pleasure. Despite the fact that she thought the Rolling Stones were the best rock band in the universe, she will be sorely missed.
According to her wishes, she will be cremated and a memorial service will be held on a date to be announced later; but first, she and her husband will embark on a long-planned road trip across America. Another adventure awaits you.
Posted by Orange County Review on October 7, 2021.