Date of Death: August 4, 2020

Service Details

Due to the current restrictions related to Covid-19 a private outdoor celebration of Elizabeth’s life will be held at her beloved home at Pleasant Lake. Her interment will be next to her loving husband Gene at Riverside Cemetery.

Obituary Notice

Elizabeth Osborn Childress, 92, of Three Rivers, Michigan went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Tuesday, August 4, 2020 peacefully at her home on Pleasant Lake. She was born May 15, 1928 in Morgan Park Chicago, IL, the daughter of Reverend Charles Rufus Osborn and Viola (Doolittle) Osborn.

Elizabeth grew up in Niagara Falls New York and graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1946. She continued her education attending Kalamazoo College where she majored in religion and minored in speech and philosophy. At Kalamazoo College she was active in theater production on campus and at the Kalamazoo Civic Théâtre. While in college she attended the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo where she taught Sunday school. Upon graduation in 1950 she obtained a position at the Congregational Baptist Church in Northfield, Minnesota as Director of Youth Ministry with students from Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges.

On June 16, 1951 Elizabeth was joined in marriage to Eugene L. Childress at Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College where they met. Elizabeth continued her affiliation with K College by serving as a secretary of the Alumni Association and member of Emeritus Club Board of Directors. Following her marriage, she and Eugene moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where he was stationed during the Korean War.

Elizabeth & Gene moved to Three Rivers, MI in 1955. As a resident of Three Rivers, Elizabeth was a member of the First Baptist Church of Three Rivers. For many years she enjoyed the fellowship of the Three Rivers First United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school for over 20 years.  In 1969 she received The Citation Award for her outstanding contributions to the religious life of the community, a recognition of splendid leadership as President of Church Women United. She also served as an Officer of the State American Baptist Women’s Association.

Elizabeth was active in serving Three Rivers in the following areas: President TR Hospital Auxiliary where she volunteered for over 30 years, Board of Directors of Substance Abuse Council of St. Joseph County, and as a Charter Member of the Three Rivers Community Players where she found great joy in performing in many productions. She also served as a local Girl Scout Leader.

She is survived by her daughters Lisa (Craig) Annable, Beth L. Childress (Mike Webb), grandchildren Christian J. Annable (Stephanie Polomcak), Jessica (Ben) Lake. She had 8 great-grandchildren: Aiden, Evalynn, Lyric, Atlas, Elizabeth, Kai, Zephyr and Atticus. She was preceded in death by her husband Gene, son-in-law Craig Annable, brother, sister, and parents.

Elizabeth was an amazing example of living her faith, being a loving friend and mother, compassionate in service to others, with a wonderful wit and sense of humor that will be missed!

Additional Information

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent in Elizabeth’s name to:

Three Rivers Community Players

P.O. Box 157

Three Rivers, Michigan 49093

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  1. I am so sorry to hear that you have losed a loved one. Was totally shocked to see. Always know she will be with each and everyone of you in your hearts. She is a part of each and everyone of you. Prayers to the family.
    Mike and Victoria (Polomcak) Firnstahl

    • She was a beautiful lady and always so sweet. She did a lot for a lot of people she did a lot of kind deeds. She will be greatly missed. I prayer for the family. May God bless you all richly. Your grandma and mama ect was wonder.

  2. I have very; good memories of you!!!!. You were such; s great lady in every way!!! All the times; I came over to your house; for cheerleading; practice; with your daughter; beth; and the squad!!!!!! We had so; much fun.!!!! I will always love you!!!!!

  3. I had the privilege of directing Liz in a couple of community theater productions. She developed her character and learned her lines early. She rarely needed direction or prompting after the first few rehearsals. However, a few times, rather late in the production schedule, she would be so involved in appreciating the other cast member’s development, that she would forget she was on stage and not in the audience. She loved theater, and those that made theater with her, loved her.

  4. Performing with Liz in the TRCP production of Pinocchio sealed our friendship forever. Liz was the best Blue Fairy granting wishes ever. Then as the elegant southern belle Claire’ in Steel Magnolias She has started every conversation since then with “Ouiser, how many time must I tell you Keep Off The Grass signs are not CHRISTmas decorations”.
    You will be missed like no other in our community, Dear Liz. So glad you are finally holding hands again with Gene. Love you until we quote lines again….

  5. Growing up Childress’s lived almost next door to us.. Mrs Childress was so much like a second mom to me because I stayed with the family quite often when my parents went away. I love playing and staying at their house with Beth, Mrs Childress was always full of love and laughter and kindness.. I am going to miss her. Rest in peace.. Say hi to mom and dad please. You will definitely be miss..

    Love you,
    Barb Stuck Allen

    • Mrs. Childress always called me Ronnie and she always made sure to make me feel like a million bucks. Mrs. Childress was my Sunday school and we quite often took us out for breakfast during Sunday school were she taught wisdom into Is without us even knowing it. We could share anything with her and her personality was so amazing. Her smile was contagious. What a wonderful person and we will miss her.

  6. Rest in Peace Liz. It has been a pleasure knowing you and Gene for so many years. You made cupcakes for my dad’s 80th birthday (George Arthur Gilchrist, Sr.) and brought them to McDonald’s where a group of friends had breakfast to celebrate dad’s birthday. I have a beautiful photo of Liz holding up the candle. Our family loved her, she had spirit, a giving heart and always a great smile. You shall be missed Liz. Judy Gilchrist-Mohney of Stayton, Oregon.

  7. Liz was always a happy person with a lovely smile on her face. I lived next door to he daughter, Lisa for about 20 years, so I knew the whole family.
    Liz had a lot of spirt and a love of life. She always asked how I was. Her love of family was obvious. God called a favorite into his fold.

  8. What an amazing legacy she left! I learned so many new things about her. I’ve always enjoyed the times I was able to spend with her. She’s a real treasure and I’m honored to have known her. Hugs and prayers to both Beth and Lisa and the rest of the family.

  9. Three Rivers will certainly miss Liz Childress! I knew Liz for the past 50 years, first as my friend’s Mother and then later as a fun, enthusiastic member of my water aerobics class at HealthTrac! Liz was a cheerful, fun and kind addition to any group with a clear view of who she was. Looking forward to laughing with you again someday!

  10. Although I only met Elizabeth several years ago she immediately radiated a beautiful blend of kindness and confidence. She seemed to have such a contentment and peace about her. I didn’t know she was so accomplished….as she never took herself too seriously. She seemed more interested in others than herself. Rest In Peace dear momma! We will enjoy your spirit through your beautiful daughter Lisa
    Ellen Maxwell

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