Shirley Childers passed peacefully into the arms of her loving savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, at age 82. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Shirley June Childers was born Shirley June Cantrell in Hood River, Ore., to Martin and Leta Cantrell on June 24, 1930.
During her high school years and several years after she worked as a telephone switchboard operator, skillfully operating the then state of the art cord boards. After graduating she moved to Portland, Ore., where she continued to work and study accounting and outdoor advertising.
In 1954, she met a young navy electronics specialist, Sid Childers; they married in 1957, at Sellwood Baptist Church in Portland, Ore. After a honeymoon in Camden, N.J., they packed up their '56 Thunderbird and moved to Fairbanks where she went to work for the PS&D Co., which held contracts for the DEW line, while her husband worked with the White Alice Communication system.
In 1963, they purchased Communications Equipment & Service Co., now known as Radio Fairbanks, a company involved in radio, radiotelephone, radio paging and telephone answering services. She was always proud of helping bring the first radio paging service to Alaska and later voicemail to the state under their statewide company Personal Page, Inc. Under her skilled management, their numbers grew to more than 10,000 in the state. She was active in the company up until her last days.
Her main interests in life, which she practiced daily with all she met or worked with, was to be kind and helpful. In her lifetime, she helped innumerable people with kindness and advice. She was an excellent listener.
Among her most cherished memories was time with her family and her work at her church, University Baptist. She loved teaching Sunday school and the children she taught in the past 60-plus years. She organized and directed an English school for foreign-born students for more than 40 years. Her teachers taught English and citizenship classes to hundreds of students from countries all across the world. The church's choir and bell choir were also loves of her life and she served in them for many, many years, right up to the end of her life.
She loved being a mom to her kids, and a grandma to her grandchildren. She was well known by her sweet smile, her generosity and loving kind spirit. She had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh - gifts she shared with her loved ones up to the last day.
Survivors include her husband, Sid Childers of Fairbanks; son, Martin Childers, of Anchorage; daughter, Marilyn Childress, and granddaughter, Brittany Childress, of Fairbanks, and grandchildren Logan and Erika Childers, of Anchorage.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at University Baptist Church. Pastor Gary Cox will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the University Baptist Church Building Fund, 1197 University Ave., Fairbanks, AK 99709.