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Doris Grace McKenzie Childress

1924 - 2019
Doris Grace McKenzie Childress FORT WORTH--Doris Grace McKenzie Childress, 95, founder of Childress Picture Frames of Fort Worth, passed away Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Hers was a life well lived through love of family, friends, and God. She exuded a passion for the arts, for the beauty of the earth, for the joy of travel, for the companionship of animals, for the value of a never-ending lifelong education, and especially, for a life in service to others. Her values were rooted in the past - of nearly 100 years ago and beyond with the connections to her parents who came to Texas by covered wagons in the 1880's - but she lived as the example of a strong modern woman. Doris Grace McKenzie was born on 22 September 1924. She was the sixth child of eight born to James Austin McKenzie and Maud Annie Kennedy McKenzie. Grace earned Valedictorian, Millsap High School Class of 1942. She attended business college after graduation. And following the War Years, Grace returned to class at TCU where she studied Psychology. Doris married Billy Childress in 1951. Together they founded Billy Childress Picture Frames in the early 1950's, working side by side to create a business that for them would become wildly successful. It remains Fort Worth's oldest picture framing business, an industry legend, now nearly 70 years in operation. Among her favorite pastimes were tending her flower garden and potting plants, reading, photography, collecting tea pots, working on family history and genealogy, enjoying poetry, and studying the Bible. She adored animals - the motley crew of dogs and cats she loved through the years are too numerous to count. Beyond most things, she loved flowers, and always reminded all to give flowers to the living. She would urge, "Tell someone you love them today." However you knew her - as Grace, Doris, or "Meemaw" (the official designation of her two beloved grandsons), or even as Mrs. Childress - she was by all accounts wonderful, not perfect - but almost. As one of her nieces remembers, "Aunt Grace was the kindest person I ever met in my life. She loved unconditionally. She gave me strength when I was down. I can't imagine a world without her." She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy; daughter-in-law, Jan Childress; parents; father and mother-in-law, Cecil and Nellie Childress; siblings, Everett McKenzie, Audrey Greenrock, Clara Graves, Bud McKenzie, Dorothy Stockstill, and Ruth Bass. SURVIVORS: Son, Garry Childress, and his sons, Austin, and Andrew; daughter, Sherry Heard and husband, Charles; only remaining sibling, Ruby McLeland; plus many nieces and nephews. FUNERAL: 1:30 p.m. Friday in Greenwood Chapel. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Greenwood. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue: txpyrs.org or DFW Pug Rescue: dfwpugs.com.

Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 7, 2019
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