SYLVA — James Bryant Childress ("Uncle Jimmy") of Sylva, N.C. passed away on Friday, March 14. Born July 12, 1924, Childress was a faithful husband and father, a devoted friend, and a servant to his western North Carolina community. A pioneer in the broadcast radio industry, Childress began his career at WKBC Radio in N. Wilkesboro, N.C. After building stations throughout the Southeast, Childress settled in Sylva, N.C. where he and his wife, Mickie, built and operated hometown station WRGC, renamed for his eldest son Ronnie who passed in a station accident in 1975. "Uncle Jimmy" was the recipient of countless awards and acknowledgements. He received the Western Carolina University Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the Western Carolina University Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was selected as a Rotary Club International Paul Harris Fellow. In 1992 he was inducted into the North Carolina Broadcasters Hall of Fame and previously named the Jackson County Citizen of the Year. Childress was particularly proud of his community service. Among the many community affiliations, he was a proud member of the Sylva Rotary Club and First United Methodist Church of Sylva. He served previously as Board Member and President of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce; a Charter Board Member of Southwestern Community College; President and Board Member of Western Carolina University Foundation Board; and Board Member of the Community Table. Childress is survived by his children Kathy Appleton (Jack), Kim Childress, Suzanne Childress (Shannon Ford), Tony Childress, Lisa Childress, and daughter-in-law Carla Stockman (Bruce); grandchildren Greg Childress (Elizabeth), Chad Childress (Chanda), Chris Appleton, Austin Appleton, Kirk Childress, and Kelly Childress; great-grandchildren Clay, Cole, Calvin, Craten, Sloan and Sydney Childress; siblings Leroy Childress, Jerry Childress, and Polly Ann Hall. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sallie and Foy Childress; wife of 60 years, Mickie Childress; son Ronnie; siblings Gray Childress, Mildred Jarell, Margaret Marshall, Hazel Shaw, and Betty Childress; and grandson Tyler Stockman. Childress impacted countless lives and leaves a legacy of service, love and joy. He will be greatly missed by those that knew and loved him. Services will be held at First United Methodist Church at 1pm on Thursday, March 20 (77 Jackson St, Sylva, NC 28779). Visitation will be held from 6pm – 8pm on Wednesday, March 19 at Appalachian Funeral Services (165 Skyland Dr. Sylva, NC 28779). The Childress Family would like to invite "Uncle Jimmy's" many friends and listeners to join in these celebrations of his life. Memorial donations should be made in honor of Mr. Childress to the Ronnie G. Childress Memorial Scholarship Fund at Western Carolina University (201 HF Robinson, Cullowhee, NC 28723), Community Table in Sylva (P.O. Box 62, Dillsboro, NC 28725; www.communitytable.org), and WonderRoot in Atlanta, GA (P.O. Box 89018, Atlanta, GA 30312; www.wonderroot.org). An online registry is available at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com

Published in Mount Airy Newspapers from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2014