Harvey Childs Jr., 91, of Stahlstown, died Monday, April 11, 2016, after a life dedicated to faith, family and community. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara Leech Childs, their four children and five grandchildren. Mr. Childs was born Oct. 5, 1924, to the late Harvey and Laura Mabon Childs. The Child's family arrived in Pittsburgh in 1817. He entered Yale University in June 1942, then deferred his education to serve in the Navy. After accelerated NROTC training, he was appointed Ensign in 1944 and assigned to serve on the U.S.S. Mississippi as Assistant Navigator and the rank of Lieutenant JG. After action in the Philippines and Okinawa, the Mississippi with Mr. Childs aboard attended the Japanese surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945. He was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon. After the war, Mr. Childs completed his studies at Yale and graduated in June 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts in American history. He earned his master's degree from Duquesne University. He returned to Pittsburgh to join the family business, H. Childs and Co., in their Iron Age Safety Shoe division. It was one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Western Pennsylvania. He traveled throughout the United States as he helped grow the division. He retired in 1986 as president of H. Childs and Co. Mr. Childs married Barbara Leech, daughter of Malcolm W. and Elizabeth Humphreys Leech, on June 21, 1948. They settled in Ligonier for many years until they moved to nearby Stahlstown in 1982. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Lisa (Mark) Laskow, of Stahlstown, Harvey III (Patricia) Childs, and Barbara (Sam) Off, all of Ligonier, and Douglas (Jocelyn Gamble) Childs, of Denver, Colo.; and five grandchildren, Paul C. and Thomas C. Laskow, and Whitney G., Eliza G. and Julianna G. Childs. Mr. Childs, a traditional Episcopalian, was one of the founders of St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church in Rector, where he was a lay reader and served on the vestry. In addition to his business activities, Mr. Childs was president of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation as well as vice president of its Northeastern Region. He also served as treasurer and board member of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and as President of the Ligonier Valley Library. He was a member of the Duquesne Club, the Yale Club of New York City, and the Rolling Rock Club where he was resident from 1992-1996.
A service to celebrate Mr. Child's life will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2016, at St. Michael's of the Valley Church with his pastor, the Rev. Dr. James B. Simons, officiating. Interment was in the St. Michael's Cemetery.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made in Mr. Child's memory to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601 or to St. Michael's of the Valley Church, P.O. Box 550, Ligonier, PA 15658. To sign the online guest book, send a condolence, or light a candle for Mr. Childs, please visit: www.jpaulmccrackenfuneralchapel.com
. The J. PAUL MCCRACKEN FUNERAL CHAPEL INC., of Ligonier, has been entrusted with Mr. Child's arrangements.