Cover photo for Kenneth Wayne Childs's Obituary
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1943 Kenneth 2018

Kenneth Wayne Childs

March 4, 1943 — December 16, 2018

Kenneth Wayne Childs, 75 of Atlanta died on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at home surrounded by his loving family.  He was born in Columbus, Indiana on March 4, 1943 to Roland Wayne and Viviana Ruth (Novellette-Messina) Childs.  Kenneth married Judy Marie Tittel on March 13, 1964 in a ceremony performed by Dr. William R. Laws, Jr. at Judy’s parent’s home on Harrison Lake.

Kenneth was a member of Kemp United Methodist Church in Tipton.  He was a wonderful soul with a soft heart and a great respect for all life in God’s creation including adults and children, especially the unborn.  He was a swimmer and diver and spent his early years as a lifeguard at Brown County State Park.  He loved bees and was a beekeeper for 40 years with his “bee village”.  Ken enjoyed fishing starting with the creeks of his beloved Brown County home and traveling to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, Pacific Ocean deep sea fishing and salmon fishing.  He was an outdoor enthusiast, adventurer, and an avid spelunker.  His lifelong love of horses started with him riding on the back of his Papa Messina’s work horse.  He owned and cared for horses for over 40 years.

He was a gifted woodworker and loved flowers gardens.  Ken was very mechanically gifted and had a passion for all areas of science, especially mathematics, physics, chemistry, electrical and biology; he was always reading to acquire more knowledge.  Ken used his God-given skills and talents of woodworking and construction to refurbish and modernize his 1890’s farmhouse while retaining its historical integrity.

Ken was a Vietnam Veteran serving two tours of duty with the United States Navy from 1965-67 on the USS Midway and the USS Hancock. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington to study Biology Education from 1961-62 and then transferred to Lain Technical College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Tooling and Gauge Design.

Ken was a design engineer; he worked for Cummins Engine Company for three years while putting himself through college.  He later worked for FMC Corporation Ordinance Division in San Jose, California designing large military vehicles and tanks before transferring to FMC Fire Apparatus in Tipton from 1974-84.  He worked for Delco Remy in Anderson and then the General Motors Electric Division in Fishers as part of the original EV1 electric car team.  Ken finished his working career at the GM Delphi Division in Kokomo from 2000-2008.

Ken was the most unselfish and kind person you could meet.  His greatest gift to his family was his love, time, and sacrifice.  He never wasted any of his God given talents to help all he met.  Ken was a beloved and wonderful husband, father and grandfather.  He took the Lord Jesus as his savior at a young age in the United Methodist Church in Nashville. He was always proud of his Italian-Sicilian heritage from his grandfather, Thomas Novellette-Messina, who emigrated through Ellis Island in 1900 from Sicily.

Survivors include his wife Judy of Atlanta, sons Mark and wife Ingrid of Anderson, Kevin and wife Carrie of Brownsburg and Scott and wife Cynthia of Colorado; his step mother Gloria Childs-Huggett of Florida, who raised him; siblings include Joann Hembree of Cincinnati, Patrick Childs and wife Raina of Florida, Melody Childs-Nigro and husband Bill of Texas and Ember Long and husband Eric of Florida.  Kenneth has seven grandchildren; Courtney, Broc, Marissa, Matthew, Caleb, Kyler, and Samuel, several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, and his mother, who died during his infancy, grandparents, and brother-in-law, Elmer Hembree.

Funeral services will be at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 19  at Young-Nichols Funeral Home in Tipton with Rev. Gary Eberhart presiding.  Burial with military rites will occur at Greenlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Indiana on Thursday at 1:00 p.m.  Visitation at the funeral home will be Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. prior to the service.

Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas, 66675-8517 or Kemp United Methodist Church, 228 N. Main Street, Tipton, Indiana, 46072.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Wayne Childs, please visit our flower store.

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