Donald Wayne Childress, also known as Hippy or Duck to his closest family, passed away at home on December 18, 2023, at the age of 74 in Clinton, SC. Wayne was born on June 26, 1949, in Laurens, SC. He was a Vietnam Veteran, proudly serving his country.
Wayne, the epitome of a grumpy old man, had a heart of gold beneath his tough exterior and huge moustache. He never held back his thoughts and opinions, always speaking his mind in the loudest way possible. His honesty was both a blessing and a curse, as you always knew where you stood with him. Despite his gruffness, he was fiercely loyal, protective, and generous to a fault.
His granddaughter, Mackenzie, brought immense joy to Wayne’s life, and he loved her beyond measure. She was his favorite person, although he was also quite fond of her parents. In the last year and a half of his life, he battled multiple myeloma and lived with his family. Through the ups and downs, he remained resilient and found happiness in the company of his loved ones, often saying, “Cancer sucks, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”
After Mackenzie left for college, Wayne took great pleasure in reminding her that he was now “the baby” and playfully rubbed it in. He cherished every moment with his family and made sure they knew how much they meant to him.
Wayne is survived by his sister, Diane Worthington, his daughter, Kathy Guinn, son-in-law Mark Guinn, and his beloved granddaughter, Mackenzie Guinn. He also leaves behind dear friends Allen and Leala Avery and Dinky Johnson. He was preceded in death by his father, Thad Childress, and mother, Dorothy Childress.
Outside of his military service, Wayne had a successful career at Torrington and Komatsu. Until recently, he pursued his passion for knife making and was a talented craftsman in this art form. His creations showcased his skill and dedication to his craft. He found solace and fulfillment in working with his hands, creating unique and beautiful pieces. When he retired from knifemaking he enjoyed customizing his Jeep.
A memorial service to honor Wayne’s life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Shriner’s Hospital or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, two organizations that were close to his heart. Let’s pay it forward and help those in need, just like he would have wanted.
Wayne will be remembered for his unfiltered honesty, loyalty, and kind heart. He may have been a grumpy old man on the surface, but those who knew him understood the depth of his love and the impact he had on their lives. He will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.