Cover photo for Paul Childress's Obituary
Paul Childress Profile Photo
1946 Paul 2023

Paul Childress

November 17, 1946 — August 18, 2023

Paul Childress, 76, of Forest, VA passed peacefully on August 18, 2023.  Paul was born in Matneytown, WV to Leon and Nan Childress.  He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sandy Childress, of Forest, VA; children Becky (Rob Solomon) Fritz of Blacksburg, VA, Beth Anne (Donovan) Bort of Apex, NC; grandchildren Lauren Fritz of Arlington, VA, Sydney Fritz of Providence, RI, Rachel Bort of Asheville, NC and Nate Bort of Apex, NC; sister Betty Davidson and niece Teri Davidson of DeLand, Fl; sister-in-law Sue Childress of Spotsylvania, VA and nephew Derek Childress of Ashburn, VA; and his wife Sandy’s family.  He is predeceased by his mother, father, and brother Richard Childress.

Paul graduated from Oceana High School in 1964.  He then attended West Virginia University and graduated in 1969 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.  He later obtained a MS in Applied Mechanics from the University of Virginia.

Paul began his career at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, where he worked on jet engine development for the F-15/16 and SR-71 Blackbird.  He spent the remainder of his career spanning the globe on critical energy and nuclear projects.  He worked on multiple nuclear disarmament projects in the former Soviet Union, assisted with Russian submarine decommissioning, managed weapons grade plutonium disposal projects, worked in the Arctic evaluating nuclear waste management systems, and worked with the US Department of Energy for the development of Engineered Barriers for the disposal of used nuclear fuel.  Paul also managed multiple programs dealing with the design, transportation, and management of nuclear fuel for electric power, naval and space propulsion, and medical diagnosis and treatment. Paul holds a US Patent for a Nuclear Material Shipping Container.

Paul was a member of Timberlake Christian Church for over 48 years, and he held his Christian faith and his family as his greatest accomplishments.  Paul was a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

The celebration of life for Paul Childress will be held at Timberlake Christian Church at 11am, October 21, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg is assisting the family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Childress, please visit our flower store.


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