Benjamin Ray Childress, age 88, of Easley, South Carolina, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, March 27, 2023.
Born in Pickens County on August 19, 1934, he was the son of the late Benjamin Ray and Florence Hendricks Childress. Ben was a 1956 graduate of Clemson College. He retired from Alice Manufacturing Company as Vice President of Manufacturing, having over 30 years of distinguished service. An advocate of education, Ben served Pickens County as commissioner to Tri-County Technical College. He received the Order of Merit for his service to Oconee, Anderson, and Pickens County from 1987-2010. As Chairman of the Building Committee, he was instrumental in moving the Tri-County Easley Campus project forward and was a leader in bringing Tri-County Technical College to where the Pickens County community lives and works. In addition to serving on Tri-County’s Commission for 23 years, he was active in his community, serving as a former member of the Board of Directors of the Community Bank in Easley, a former member of the Industrial Management Club, past Director of the Easley Chamber of Commerce, Pickens County YMCA and the United Way.
In an effort to support life-long learning, Ben and his wife Lucille endowed the Weston and Ruth Reeves Memorial Scholarship at Tri-County Technical college in 1997 in memory of her mother and father. He also helped raise funds for the Clemson University Academic Success Center. Ben was a longtime member of Easley First Baptist Church and Flat Rock Baptist Church, serving as deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Ever the entrepreneur, in retirement, Ben turned his hobby into a business, manufacturing carnival rides with his brother. Ben loved a project and could often be found working in his shop. Although he traveled the world, Ben’s favorite place was the beach at Isle of Palms where he loved to fish and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July with his family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Lucille Reeves Childress, daughters Sandi Maddox and Karen (Allen) Clardy; 6 grandchildren Laura (Ben) Hammond, Ben Maddox, David (Casey) Maddox, Weston McDonald, Julia McDonald, and Beau Clardy; 4 great grandchildren, Reeves, Sophie, Lucy, and Lilia; brothers, Hendricks (Margaret) Childress and Billy Childress. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Colleen Pettit and Lida Finley.
The memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, April 1, 2023 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley with Reverend Eddie Pettit, nephew of Mr. Childress, and Rev. Bobby Tyler officiating.
The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.
A private burial will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Pickens, SC.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the North Greenville University Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1892, Greenville, South Carolina 29688.
Visit RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory-Downtown, Easley.