Richard J. Childress, age 74, left his earthly home on September 27, 2022, surrounded by his wife of 47 years, Robin, their children and grandchildren. He was born on November 1, 1947, in Yakima, Washington to Jack and Doreen Childress. When he was quite young, Richard and his family moved to Moses Lake, Washington, where he attended school from Kindergarten through 12 th grade and graduated from Moses Lake High School in 1966. Richard was always active in his church as a boy and spent many happy summers at Camp Lutherhaven. He was also quite athletic and always played a variety of sports while growing up. He attended Central Washington State College, where he played college football, as a tackle, and earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Secondary Education and in Health and Fitness. Richard went on to teach at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington, where he enjoyed many wonderful years. It was there that he developed a true love for coaching sports, and he became the head baseball coach, assistant football coach and assistant wrestling coach. He gained
many lifelong friendships with colleagues, his players and their parents. As time went on, Richard left education and returned to Moses Lake to join his father, Jack, in the family business, C & V Auto Sales and Service, and over the years it was common for many of his former players to stop by the dealership to visit “Coach”. In 1975 Richard met the love of his life, Robin Leland, and they were married in 1979, after she earned her teaching degree. Together, they prayed for children long before they became parents. God, in His time, blessed them with a son, Kyle, in 1983 and a daughter, KayLynn, in 1987, to complete their
beautiful family. They always felt very thankful and proud to be the parents of their wonderful children.They felt like they had won the lottery when their children found loving and caring spouses, and thefamily continued to grow. Later, they were blessed with the most adorable grandkids, who were deeply loved by their grandpa. He loved talking to each of them about school and sports, and he enjoyed givingthem batting tips or basketball strategies.
Richard’s life was full of service. He spent so much time coaching local baseball and football. He, alongwith Jerry Thaut, coached baseball for many, many years, and together they started the original “RiverDogs”, a very successful team that traveled to many places for tournaments. The Pacific Northwest,Montana, New York, and even Australia were just a few of the destinations. They were blessed withgreat ball players and parents, and those years were magic. They felt like a big baseball family, witheveryone pitching in to help, whether it was field prep or washing and mending uniforms so the boyslooked “sharp” on the field.
Football was another great love of Richard’s life. He treasured the time he spent coaching football at MLHS, alongside Coach Greg Kittrell. He’d always say, “That guy knows what he’s doing!” He alsoenjoyed coaching his son, Kyle, over the years. He was so excited when Kyle’s team won the State Championship as 12-year-olds. In Richard and Robin’s home, a lot of bonding happened, both on the ball field and in the back yard while taking pitches. However, their house wasn’t just filled with bat bags and baseball cleats. Their beautiful little girl, KayLynn, filled their lives with dance leotards, tutus, hairspray, false eyelashes and tons of costume glitter, and Richard equally loved cheering his girl on and driving her all over the Pacific Northwest for dance competitions.
When Richard wasn’t busy being a loving husband, dad, coach or grandpa, he was also a local
businessman and the proud owner of C & V Auto. Over his 47 years there, he sold thousands of cars to the people of Grant County, and he developed many lifelong loyal customers. He especially enjoyed working with the young couples who would come in, needing a car. They would typically want something ‘fast and sporty”, but as Richard would notice their sweet little bundle in a car seat, he’d smile and assist them in finding a vehicle that would work better for a young family starting out. He also had a soft spot in his heart for the single moms who needed a reliable car for driving to work, and he would help them figure out a way to finance a vehicle. Richard especially treasured the wonderful years when his son, Kyle, returned home from the Marine Corps, and he and his sister, KayLynn worked with their dad at the dealership. While owning C & V, Richard belonged to the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce and also served as its president. C & V, as a Dodge dealership, supported and was heavily involved with the Moses Lake Roundup Rodeo for many years. Richard had fond memories of supplying the trucks that were used for the halftime festivities and awards. In addition to their busy work lives and family activities, Richard and Robin were also very active in the Sister City organization. One year they served as chaperones and took a group of Moses Lake students to Japan for a three-week visit. Another passion of Richard’s was stock car racing. He built three stock cars from the ground up, along with the help from his great friend and fellow-racer, Dan Morrison, who was a wizard when it came to working with car engines. Richard loved racing and was an aggressive and fast driver, which helped him win many races at the racetracks in Ephrata, Yakima and Wenatchee. Richard is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Robin; his son, Kyle Childress and wife, Crystal, and their children, Gracelynn, Kiptyn, Kamden and Brooklynn; his daughter, KayLynn Childress-Castillo and husband Brandin Castillo, and their daughter, Raelynn. In addition, he is survived by his mother, Doreen Walsh, his brother Steven Childress and wife Carol, his sister Vicki Childress, and his step-sister Linda Hansen and husband Doug Hansen. Richard also leaves behind many nephews and nieces, including Michael Hansen and wife Dawn, Ben Hansen and husband Malan Liborio, Sam Hansen and wife Teresa, and Sara Hansen. Richard was preceded in death by his grandparents, Hayes and Ruby Childress; his father, Jack Childress and step-mother, Glenna Childress; his step sister, Janet Beckley; his nephew, Carter H. Childress; and a sweet baby that he and Robin lost many years ago.
Services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church (1020 South A Street) in Moses Lake on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 2:00 PM. If you would like to, donations may be made to: militaryveteranproject.org