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Subject: The Sparkletones Guitarist Howard "Sparky" Childress

Dies at 76
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Date Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 03:54:08pm


Howard Dean Childress, Sr., 76, of Chesnee, SC passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at his home. Born April 21, 1943 in Spartanburg, SC, he was the son of the late William Harrison Childress, Sr. and Margaret Mae Emory Childress of Clifton, SC.

Howard was a graduate of Cowpens High School, attended University of South Carolina-Spartanburg, and was retired from Milliken after 45 years of service as a Business & Market Development Manager in the Chemical Division. He was a member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church and was a life-member of Clifton-Sunrise Masonic Lodge 215.

An original member of The Sparkletones, a musical group that formed in 1955 and quickly rose to fame with numerous hit songs and three gold records, Howard made appearances on The Nat King Cole Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and American Bandstand. The Sparkletones are enshrined in The Rockabilly Hall of Fame and on The Spartanburg Music Trail.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Brenda Carter Childress; children, Kimberly Childress Ward and Howard Dean Childress, Jr. (Sheri); grandchildren, W. Ashton Ward (girlfriend, Chelsea), William D. Ward, Carter C. Childress, and Madeline E. Childress; a sister, Nancy Childress Norton; and a host of nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly. He was also predeceased by a sister, Barbara Childress Emory and a brother, William Harrison Childress, Jr.

Howard loved his family and the Lord with a fierce but gentle heart. Although he was an accomplished musician, the greatest instrument he ever played was himself; leading by example in godly service to others, always smiling and offering guidance, support and assurance to family and friends whenever needed. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed by many.

Visitation will be 6:00–8:00 PM Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29307. Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Thursday, December 5, 2019, at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel, by The Rev. Jeff Dellinger. Burial, with Masonic rites, will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Road, Spartanburg, SC 29307.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spartanburg Regional Home Hospice, PO Box 430, Drayton, SC 29333; or Gibbs Cancer Center, c/o SRHS Foundation, 101 East Wood Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

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Subject Author Date
"Black Slacks"Joe Bennett and the SparkletonesTuesday, December 03, 04:08:32pm
List of other musicians who died at the same age of 76MattCWednesday, December 04, 04:46:17am

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