Gertrude Lee Hawkins Childress was born to the late Jerome Lee and Annabelle Hawkins on March 26, 1927 in Lexington, KY. She departed this earthly life and went home to be with the Lord on December 8th. Gertrude graduated from Central High School in Louisville, KY at the age of 16 and she graduated from Louisville Municipal College (University of Louisville) in 1947. She was brilliant in scholastic achievement and abilities.
Gertrude professed hope in Christ at the age of eight years and was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY under the pastorate of Reverend Dr. Homer Elker Nutter. Her family moved to Louisville, KY in 1937 and she joined the “N” Street Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Charles Wilkerson.
Gertrude was joined in Holy Matrimony to Willard Eubanks Childress on December 27, 1947 and this union was blessed with 10 children, eight surviving to adulthood. Jerome, Gregory, Wilma, Bettie Ann, Vivian, Judith, Irell Lynn and Belva Janette. She also had one step-son Willard Childress Jr. In 1955, Gertrude, Willard and four of their children relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio. In Cincinnati she united with the Morning Star Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Calvin A. Harper. When she was no longer able to attend church away from home, she attended church services at her apartment residence where a local church came to them. Willard and Gertrude opened a small grocery store in Millvale and owned and operated it for several years. Gertrude was a stay at home mother for many years. Gertrude worked for the H&S Pogue Company in downtown Cincinnati in the Credit and Customer Service Department for 10 years.
Gertrude was an excellent cook and baker. She would have dinner every Sunday at their home after church for her family and many church members. Gertrude had the gifts of giving and helping. She would open up her home to relatives and friends who needed a temporary place to live. She was an excellent disciplinarian to her 8 children in which she took no “mess”. She used the book of Proverbs on them and they never said a mumbling word. She was a great housewife and took pride in how she did it. Gertrude loved to write poems and was an avid reader. Other hobbies included doing crossword puzzles, drawing, and painting. Gertrude had athletic abilities at softball in her younger days. Gertrude became a devout and firm believer and teacher. She taught weekly bible study classes for 10 years at the apartment complex where she resided. She was truly a child of God!
Gertrude was preceded in death by her husband Willard, daughter Vivian, and step-son Willard Jr.
Gertrude leaves to cherish her memory her 2 sons: Jerome Childress, Gregory Childress (Sharon); 5 daughters: Wilma Hickland (Gordy), Bettie Palmer (Tony), Judith Boyd (Michael), Irell Wallace, and Belva Grevious; 13 grandchildren: Tonya Reneé, Annette Lynn, Sherri Denise, Gregory Jerome, Robin Reneé, Lisa Cherié, Michael Stuart, Clifford Anthony, Nicole Alexandria, Cassidy Shavon, Michael Tracy, Courtney Jalea, Moriah Grace; 20 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.