Charles P. “Pat” Childers died Dec. 26, 2020, at his Cody home of natural causes after many years of declining health. He was 79.
Pat grew up in Muleshoe, Texas, family home to parents Morris and Peggy Childers and sister Doris. He completed high school in Muleshoe and attended Texas A & I University in Kingsville.
He married Sandra “Sandy” Taylor in the fall of 1962 and the two made their first home in Texas A & I student housing while attending the university. Pat completed his formal education at A & I with a degree in chemical engineering and quickly established a long career with Marathon Oil Company, where he served in various positions for nearly 35 years.
Pat’s career with Marathon planted the Childers family in numerous locations, including multiple towns in Texas, Lawrence-ville, Ill., West Branch, Mich., and finally, Cody, Wyo.
In 1997 Pat was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives and he retired from Marathon Oil Company the next year so that he could focus on his legislative responsibilities. He greatly enjoyed his legislative colleagues and the time he spent in the House.
He was never too busy to help a constituent, regardless of his or her party affiliation, and Pat was a rare combination of fiscal conservative and social moderate. He served the people of Wyoming until 2012.
After some limited experience golfing in his teens and early 20s, Pat began to golf more regularly in the late 1980s. He drew Sandy and several of his children out onto the golf course, where everyone, including neighboring players, learned just how colorful the Childers family was and nearly everyone in earshot learned a few new words of muttered Texas slang. Golf vacations and tournaments with family and friends were among his greatest pleasures and fondest memories.
Pat had a passion for vintage automobiles, but most particularly for his first car: a 1934 Cadillac LaSalle that he liked to say was an antique when he bought it the first time. The ’34 LaSalle came and went a couple of times as Pat struggled to find the time and energy to restore it.
On the final occasion that he repurchased the car, he and Sandy had passed it on a trailer on the highway during a trip to Billings. “That’s my LaSalle,” he said as they went by, resigned to track it down again and bring it home. So, he did. While Pat was able to restore and update some of the LaSalle’s components over the years, he was never able to complete this project, though he likely dreamed about it every day.
Pat is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sandy of Cody, his daughter Robin (Amy Gentry) of Missoula, Mont., son Sean and granddaughter Josephine of Seattle, son Kelly (Claudia) and granddaughters Breanna and Hailie of Bothell, Wash., and his sister Doris Mardis of Clovis, N.M.
There is not a plan for a public service, but the family encourages memorial donations in Pat’s name to Park County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 203, Cody, WY, 82414.
Condolences can be sent to the family on Pat’s memorial page at BallardFH.com.