Christopher “George” Churchwell, 89, of Lone Oak went to heaven on Friday, July 27, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. He was a devoted husband, loving Daddy, amazing Granddaddy and Great-Granddaddy.
George was born on October 19, 1922, in Perry County, TN to his parents, Eddie and Jessie Churchwell. He was preceded in death by his brother, Paul Churchwell, and his Great-Grandson, Christopher Bennett Wyatt.
George is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Ora Lee Dickson Churchwell; his daughters, Linda Churchwell Bratton and Laura Churchwell Alexander and husband, Wade Alexander; his grandson, Christopher Jason McIntosh and wife, Jodi McIntosh; his granddaughter, Jennifer Churchwell McIntosh Wyatt and husband, Brian Wyatt; his Great-Grandchildren, Christopher Connor McIntosh, Brooklynn Paige McIntosh, Chase Thomas McIntosh and Kate Kimble Wyatt, all of Lone Oak.
Additionally, George is survived by a sister, Norma Coleman of Camden, TN; a brother, John Wesley Churchwell and wife, Barbara Churchwell of Big Sandy, TN; a brother, Clovis Churchwell and wife, Margaret Churchwell of Paducah, and several nieces and nephews.
George proudly enlisted and served with the 15th Air Force in Italy and flew 51 missions over the European Theater as a flight engineer and rear gunner in World War II. He was a proud member of the 719th Bombardment Squadron and 449th Bombardment Group. During his service, his group received two Presidential Citations. He received 2 EAME Theater Medals (European-African-Middle Eastern Theater), 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and a Purple Heart.
He lived a life of service to God and was a faithful member of Lone Oak United Methodist Church for over six decades.
Mr. Churchwell had a significant impact on the residential and commercial development of McCracken County, and more specifically the community of Lone Oak. He began his career as a builder in the early 1950s. It is estimated that he built over 180 single-family homes during his building career spanning sixty years.
Throughout his career, his company, Churchwell Homes, developed Parkview Manor, Churchview, Pheasant Hills, Farthing Heights, Laurel Heights, Lone Oak Park Manor, Hunting Hills Estates, Sherron Heights, and Sanderson Heights. Mr. Churchwell also built and managed numerous commercial properties including Lone Oak Car Wash, Village Center, Chelsea Square, Bayley Square, Cambray Square, Windsor Square, Sheridan Square, and Linden Plantation. Churchwell Homes also built and managed over 100 apartment units, duplexes and condominiums.
One of the projects that most touched his life was building two St. Jude’s Dream homes in Lone Oak.
Additionally, through partnerships, he built hundreds of additional homes and developed Coleman Place, Barrington Woods, The Meadows, Copper Creek, Pepper’s Mill and The Grove.
Throughout his career as a builder/developer, George held numerous leadership positions. In 1973, he became a member of the Home Builders Association of Western KY and served as a Local & State Builder Director. From 1974-1977, Mr. Churchwell served on the Executive, Nominating, & Finance Committees. He became President of the Home Builders Association in 1975. In 1976 and 1977, he served as the National Director of the Home Builders Association. In 1985, he was asked to replace the current Vice President and serve the rest of the year. He was a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Over the years, Mr. Churchwell was honored by numerous associations and organizations for his service to his profession and to his community.
In 2005, Mr. Churchwell received the first Lifetime Registered Builder Award by the Home Builders Association of Western KY. He received the Alben Barkley Distinguished Citizen Award, was named to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, named a Duke of Paducah, a Master Conservationist by the State of Kentucky and was on the Patriot National Honor Roll. The Salvation Army recognized George with a 2nd Mile Award for his service with Hurricane Katrina relief work.
Prior to working as a homebuilder and developer, George worked for the Louisville Nashville Railroad for over 29 years.
George was a man of strong faith, integrity and a generous heart. He had a deep love of his family, his church and his community. He loved riding on his mower, driving his tractor and sitting outside underneath his covered porch. His dogs, Max and Charlie, were his special companions and often travelled with him to job sites and on Sunday afternoon drives. He was an avid hat collector and was seldom found not wearing one of his trademark caps and driving his iconic red pickup trucks.
Services celebrating the life and legacy of George Churchwell will be Monday, July 30, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Lone Oak United Methodist Church with Dr. Ben Boone officiating. Entombment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with military honors. Visitation will begin at Milner & Orr in Lone Oak on Sunday, July 29th, at 5:00 p.m. and Monday, July 30th at Lone Oak United Methodist Church prior to the service.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to Lone Oak United Methodist Church, 3835 Old US Highway 45, Paducah, KY 42003.
You may light a candle or leave a message of sympathy at milnerandorr.com.