John Kelly Childers
May 8, 1962 – April 26, 2021
In loving memory of John Kelly Childers who passed away on April 26, 2021. John was born on May 8, 1962 in Nacogdoches, Texas to Billie Jo Childers (deceased) and John Elmer Childers (deceased). He was preceded in death by his sister Carol Childers Ansel.
John graduated Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in 1984 with a BBA in Business Administration. His entire work career was spent in commercial banking and national bank examination. He was held in high regard by everyone.
John loved the Lord, his family, friends, neighbors, church, and fellow workers at The Comptroller of the Currency where he worked 31 years. He touched countless lives in his community and at all the banks he examined over his many years as a National Bank Examiner. He had a deep enduring love for everyone and was hard pressed to ever find fault with anyone. John had a kind and gentle spirit.
A strong bond was maintained with his relatives and friends. Not an hour would pass without him mentioning something entertaining and positive about at least one of them. He developed many friends in Longview and at Lake Cherokee over the years and regularly kept in touch with his friends from Nacogdoches. He attended Pathway Church in Longview and was previously a member of First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches.
John is survived by his brother Henry Childers and wife Henrietta of Houston: brother-in-law Kirby Ansel of Houston; and nephews Clark Ansel and his wife Brooke of Dallas; Kyle Ansel of Avon, CO; Alex Childers and wife Tara and their son Campbell and daughter Tinsley of San Antonio and Kelly Childers and wife Shawna and daughters Veda and Ruby of Kansas City; and his close friends Tere and Richard Roark, and Eric Rynearson.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00pm on May 3rd at Cason-Monk Funeral Home, 5400 North Street, Nacogdoches TX. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in John’s honor to the Elmer & Billie Jo Childers Family Scholarship Fund, Stephen F. Austin University, PO Box 6092, SFA Station, Nacogdoches TX 75962.
When I first got to Longview in the second half of 2018, I met with each examiner to get to know them better and answer any questions they had. The first thing John said to me when he sat down is “I’m not retiring and you can’t make me!” I did not know quite how to take John. Most examiners are introverts and fairly quiet. John was not like most examiners. John was the first one to vote for going to an Escape Room and bowling. He tried to get our group to go ziplining in Diana, TX. He was the first one to agree to a group picnic at my house….in August! John was the first one to help with planning our Christmas parties. John loved to aggravate examiners! James Cashell loved to tell John about how much more money James had in his retirement because James does not buy a new truck every other year. John would just say you may have more money in your retirement but at least I am not driving around in a piece of crap truck like you. We had an exam at a small bank and were short-staffed. I found out during the exit meeting that John had led the asset quality portion of the exam as well as completed the work for capital, earnings, and the Bank Secrecy Act! John was there for two weeks. For those non-examiners, that is a lot of work in two weeks even at a small bank! John was definitely a hard worker, understood what “risk-based” examining meant (for you non-examiners, that means using common sense and spending our time on more risky areas), stood his ground against bankers on ratings when the facts called for it, advocated for the banker against me when the facts called for it, volunteered to assist other examiners, volunteered to train examiners, and still found time to take annual leave at 3:00 most days when he was in the office and go home to take a nap! John and I went to a board meeting at a bank not too long after I got to Longview. John must have still been feeling me out because he let me drive….or maybe I learned of his driving reputation already and insisted on driving…I cannot recall. Anyway, John talked about growing up in Nacogdoches, when he “came out”, and how hard that was for a boy from East Texas. When my husband and I were looking for a house, I asked John to meet us at a few houses to get his opinion. He knew everyone, knew the neighborhood, and he knew I did not want a long commute. (A long commute in Longview is 15 minutes.) The house we actually bought was the last house we looked at. If that house did not work, Dave and I were going to rent somewhere and build. John walked through the house, walked around the house, and then said, “this is the house”. He was right. 2020 and so far in 2021 has been an extremely difficult year for the Childers family. You lost your mother/grandmother in early 2020 due to the pandemic. John was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, and started chemo in the summer. You lost Carol (sister/mother) in October in a ridiculously tragic way. And now you lost John. You hear this all the time about how much a loved one will be missed. I am sure people mean it when saying it but people find a way to go on with life. You just have to. I really cannot imagine our office without John. Losing John is profound. We will find a way to go on but we will always have John in our hearts. I am sure we will share John stories for as long as we are able to. When John was first diagnosed with cancer, we talked about how much sick leave he had accrued and if he should go ahead and retire. He wanted to work though. He enjoyed his work but mostly he enjoyed being around people….bankers and examiners….he treated us all the same. When he was about finished with his chemo treatment, he said he was thinking about retiring but he just bought a fancy fridge and had to work long enough to pay for it. I told John that he liked to spend money too much and he would probably work forever. He stopped for a moment and then said “Yep, I’ll never retire!”. He was at a bank working the day before his final chemo treatment and worked from home the rest of that week. John was right. He never retired.
Colleen Welch Assistant Deputy Comptroller Longview Field Office
I’m not sure that I have the time or the emotional capacity to recount all my stories of John... there are just too many. I will just say that he was a great friend and mentor to me, and there are thousands of conversations and pieces of advice that he gave me over the years. John was the most approachable examiner that I have ever met. He loved to share, teach, and mentor younger examiners, even if he himself didn’t always know the right answers. Given that John had been an examiner almost as long as I have been alive, you would think it might be intimidating to go ask an older examiner a potentially “dumb” question – but you never felt that way with John. He was so easy to talk to, and he was always willing to give his opinion on how he would handle the situation. He had a way with people. I don’t know how else to say it. Everyone loved John – from the most difficult bankers/examiners all the way to random people at the bank that we usually don’t interact with. Even with delivering bad news, he had a way of diffusing the situation, and everyone would leave the meeting happy. Everyone wanted to work with John, everyone wanted to be on the exams that John was leading, and everyone hoped that John was on the next exam. He added so much life to the room and to the examination team. No matter how bad the bank was or how bad your assignment was, you always knew that you could get through it if John was at the exam too. Not only did everyone love John, but John loved everyone. He wanted to be the life of the party, and he wanted to serve and help everybody. He loved to be chauffeur and drive everyone to lunch – even if sometimes we gave him a hard time about his driving. He loved to make everyone feel warm and welcomed to an examination, even if the person was new or was from a different field office. He was always willing to help, no matter the situation or how busy he was. And it goes without saying, but John had a wonderful sense of humor. John was fun. He always found the silver lining in every situation and was always so positive. He loved to laugh and tell stories. He loved to talk about the most recent movie or show that he watched on Netflix. He loved to drive around and explore the city, even if it was somewhere he had been a thousand times. He loved to share with people, even if it was dumb things. He loved to talk, and he was a great listener. Most of all, he was okay with laughing at himself and his own dumb mistakes, which is such an admirable trait to have. Often times his funny stories were about something dumb that he himself did, but he was willing to be embarrassed if it meant having a good laugh for someone else. The Longview field office will not be the same without John.
Samuel Gaskamp National Bank Examiner Longview Field Office
I just wanted to say a few words. First Thank you C for breaking the hard news to us today that we lost one of our Longview family members, who is now resting in eternal peace. I know that was very hard news to deliver to everyone. Though I only knew John a short while I am very glad that I got to meet him and enjoy his company. I instantly recognized John as a very kind man with a fun personality, which always made him the life of the party. Even though he was a senior examiner he always treated us newbies kindly and made the examiners life feel fun and not so scary with his carefree demeanor and by sharing his stories with us (many stories). I will always remember his infectious laugh and riding in his truck to lunch during exams (now that was an adventure with his driving habits jk). Goodbye John and rest in peace, you were truly an “Examiner Extraordinaire.”
Robert Green Associate National Bank Examiner Longview Field Office
One of the traits that set John apart from many people was his genuine desire to make folks feel welcomed in our Office. On occasions, our new employees would be trained in other offices and we would not meet them for many months after they had been on the job. To my amazement, I found out that John would begin a campaign of sending them emails to each of our new employees welcoming them to our office as soon as they were hired. He would continue to correspond with them during their training period. While it would take me months to learn our new employees’ names once they arrived, John was already their best friend! Throughout his career, John always made a strong effort to get to know our employees and include them in all activities. John was very generous. I fondly recall all the summer picnics he would host our annual company picnic at his lake house. It was a big commitment. John would spend weeks cleaning and planning the picnic. His house would be immaculate and the envy of everyone attending. Every year the picnic was a resounding success and attended by all. We would have good food, drink, and comradery. Spouses and children were invited and everyone would have a great time. John had games set up in his yard and would take folks out on the lake on his boat. He was a gracious host and I remember on one occasion that he had cleaned out some junk out of his house and awarded these items to his guests, often with a funny remark. These picnics would often run long after the time allotted to the picnic as people genuinely enjoyed John’s picnics. We would all anxiously look forward to next year’s picnic. One of my funniest memories of John occurred in a bank board room in Gilmer, Texas. John had just purchased his lake house and was experiencing the headaches of home ownership. His house had an aerobic septic system and had been giving him trouble. He knew my home also had an aerobic septic system and started telling me about his efforts to fix it himself. In the boardroom were other bank examiners, including an employee that was pregnant. John had called a septic service that advised him that his aerator was likely plugged and needed to be cleaned. They had told John how to do it himself. As everyone knows, John's storytelling skills were unsurpassed. John very graphically described how he pulled the aerator out of the tank, of the smell, and the gunk attached. At this point in the story, he began to demonstrate how he gagged. I and several others were laughing. However, our pregnant employee became nauseous hearing John gag and asked him to stop the gagging noise. John momentarily stopped and began telling his story again and soon he was back in the moment and again demonstrated his gagging. Once more, our pregnant employee implored John to stop and John did again; momentarily. But he was on a roll telling his story and continued his story. I was in tears laughing so hard when he once again demonstrated the gagging and our pregnant friend informed John that if he did not stop with the gagging, she would have to leave. He did stop. I will never forget how animated and colorful he could get telling a story. I am still laughing with John.
John Ely National Bank Examiner (Retired) Longview Field Office
John was such a warm, friendly and funny guy. He made me feel welcome and included in the group when I moved to Longview in 1998 by constantly teasing me about how old my car was. When I did buy a new car, I sent him a picture of it. He didn't believe me and drove from another town just to see if it was true. But, my best memory of him is when he "Roasted" me at my retirement luncheon. It was hilarious. My family was in attendance and they still talk about it today. I consider John a friend and I will miss his voice and his laugh.
Pat Montgomery National Bank Examiner (Retired) Longview Field Office
We were in West Virginia to go whitewater rafting and zip lining one weekend while we were doing a Shared National Credit review in Charlotte. John almost did not make it for zip lining that morning since they would not let him go on the course in sandals. He had to run out and buy some shoes while everyone waited for him. He came back from Walmart with a pair of double Velcro black shoes and the whole group laughed their asses off at his shoe choice…even though we all had to wait for John to start our zip lining adventure. That was when we took the "Examiner Extraordinaire" picture!
And whitewater rafting in West Virginia, working SNC’s in Charlotte...John’s the one that talked me into going to see the Biltmore in Asheville, where he discovered “John likes wine”! Really enjoyed the times we got to hang out on some long exams. Some of my best memories.
James Cashell National Bank Examiner Longview Field Office
Walk with me, Talk with me If I say a chicken dips snuff, look for the can under its wings Working like a Dog If I’ma lyin’, I’ma dyin’ KISS IT!
I am sure no one has mentioned John’s driving, right? I remember riding with John while driving all over East Texas in that brown pickup truck. One day on the way to Whitehouse, a high school kid side swiped us while we were in John’s truck. John was furious. He called the cops and followed her to her school. The cops gave her a ticket, but John felt bad for scaring the poor thing who was just a high school student. Gary wasn't happy that we were an hour late to the bank, but he couldn’t stay mad at John for very long.
John and I loved to listen to the Bob and Tom show on the way to a bank. I don't think anyone else appreciated the risqué nuances of that morning radio show. He and I could not stop laughing as we would retell the controversial skits. Probably frowned on today, but it made the morning drives enjoyable.
There were his infamous smoke breaks, “If I’m a Lying, I’m a Dying” and “If I told you a chicken dips snuff…you better look under the wing”. All these John sayings I still use to this day.
You are a good man John; you will never be forgotten. Miss your laugh, and thanks for all the fish.
Rachel Bayless National Bank Examiner Dallas Ft. Worth FO Longview FO (1990-2003)
C, Thank you for the personal call. That means a lot to us. John and I talked about antiques quite a bit. The ladies in credit administration loved him because he would stop and visit and would let them eat some of his popsicles he kept in the freezer! He will be missed. Lori Sirman, President BTH Bank Quitman, Texas
Cade was a baby, I was working out of town at an exam, Brandon was working in Marshall and John was in the office. Daycare called and said Cade started to run a fever and you need to pick him up. I called John and said what do I do? He said, “well Stephanie, Uncle John will go buy him some medicine and take it to daycare and give it to him. If you of all people have managed to keep him alive for a year, surely there’s nothing I can do that will hurt him. “ 🤣🤣. Cade is 20 years old now and John was amazed I successfully raised 2 children. About Bryant’s baby picture he said “well Stephanie, he looks like an alien”🤣🤣No matter what was going on, we always laughed at ourselves and at each other.
Stephanie King Bank Examiner (1998 - 2002) Longview Field Office
Besides making us all laugh, John had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. Returning from one of Larry’s business trips, our flights were canceled and/or delayed and we ended up getting back 2 days late. John and I were scheduled to attend a class in Dallas starting at 1:00 on Monday. My flight didn’t get to Dallas until about 11:00 that same morning. I got off the plane with no luggage or anything and skipped the leg of the flight back to Longview. John picked me up, took me to the mall where unbelievably I bought pants, a blouse and shoes in about 20 minutes and we still made it on time to class! I always knew that regardless of how much he picked on me, he always had my back! And I had his! He called me on a Saturday to tell me he had had a wreck on Highway 80 and could I come and get him and of course I did. I got there and the wrecker and police had already left. He was standing by the side of the road with his old shorts and T-shirt on with a big shopping bag full of the stuff from his truck, looking like a homeless guy. We shared many a laugh and many a tear together and I am forever grateful for his friendship.
As for sayings, when my hair was longer and I wore it up on my head, he always called it my “knot of knowledge”. Can’t wear my hair up without thinking about that!
Beverly Quinn National Bank Examiner (1990 - 2013) Longview Field Office
Here's some of my memories of John. He loved to host many OCC 4th of July fish fry’s at his lake house and then hosted Christmas and retirement parties at his new house near the field office.
He was always willing to help others, taking things to Goodwill from office even when he lost the hand truck (moving dolly) out of his truck on the way back!! He always enjoyed a funny story and a good laugh!
Jeff Harrison NBE/Team Lead Dallas Field Office
_____________________ Where to begin...John was a wonderful friend. He would come up to my desk and say…”hey Lorie, whatcha doin’ - come walk with me talk with me.” I had a rule - no burping at my desk. John rarely followed my rule. He helped me around the office...sometimes willingly - sometimes not. He did the heavy lifting when we went to Sam’s to purchase food for picnics and Christmas parties. I usually had to chase him down - pushing the grocery cart while John looked at big screen TVs.
John and I were invited to dinner in Tyler. We drove separate cars because John wanted to go early to shop in Tyler. We had a lovely dinner, drinks, and a great conversation with friends. I left for home about 10 minutes before John. He caught up with me headed out of Tyler - but didn't notice it was me. I decided to stay behind him since it was late on a Saturday night. He sped up, I sped up; he slowed down, I slowed down. When we got off Hwy 31 and stopped at a stop sign I rolled down my window and waved. He had the strangest look on his face. My phone rang. It was John. He thought he was being followed by the police.
John was using Super Glue while working outside at the lake. He got glue on both hands. He figured the only thing he could do was put both hands in the dirt. Fortunately, he was working in the office the following week. John touched so many. I will miss his calls and silliness. He kept me busy and laughing after George died. We would go toe-to-toe sometimes, and he would finally say… WELL Lorie, we are gonna have to disagree on this. My reply…Yes John, now go back to work!!! When he would text me – he could NEVER spell tomorrow. I am going to miss my friend.
Lorie Richardson Administrative Assistant (1994-2016) Longview Field Office (Retired)
- Clark Ansel, Active Pallbearer
- Kyle Ansel, Active Pallbearer
- Alex Childers, Active Pallbearer
- Kelly Childers, Active Pallbearer
- Eric Rynearson, Active Pallbearer
- Richard Roark, Active Pallbearer
Elmer & Billie Jo Childers Family Scholarship Fund, Stephen F. Austin University
PO Box 6092, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, Texas 75962
Monday, May 3, 2021
John Kelly Childers
Connie (Merriman) Bryan
May 4, 2021
My deepest and most sincere condolences to the Longview FO “Family” and the John Childers Family.
John, I knew you for many years from working on exams together to working together on the District Risk Committee, You will be remembered for your infectious smile, your loyalty to your OCC Family and your amazing knowledge and wit.
May you rest in peace for all eternity. 🙏🏻♥️
(Retired) National Bank Examiner
Oklahoma City FO/Dallas DO
May 3, 2021
Years ago we were chatting about life in general and the topic of retirement came up. I asked him when he was going to retire. He looked at me and incredulously stated in his east Texas drawl, “Andrew what the hay-ul do you think I’m going to do in retirement?! I would get so bored!” I told him perhaps teaching, doing something with the church, etc. He laughed, “Can you imagine all the trouble I would get if I was retired?!” I realized he already got into trouble while working and it would be much worse during retirement. We both decided he should not retire for his (and everyone else’s) sake!
I remember when we hired Eric to paint our house. Eric arrived with his materials and supervisor/trainee John in tow. John figured he’d help out (as he was always known to do!). After lunchtime John stated, “I’m tired, there’s a reason why I work in banking and not doing this!” He promptly went home for a nap!
I will miss John coming out of his truck with a cigarette in one hand, his keys and cell phone in the other, and smiling would always say, “Let me tell you what I just found out!” or “Did you hear about…” He always had the news of the day and was the most excellent storyteller. He was always such a good friend. He was the reason why the Longview FO would go out to eat as a group and had so much fun during exams. He did that. That was his personality. He was an imperfect man and you could do nothing but love him because of his flaws, not in spite of them. You knew you were in his group when he called you a goofball, cause he was King Goofball! Not all heroes go around wearing capes and save the day. Sometimes, they have a pack of cigarettes, an infectious laugh, and are willing to lift you up and help you out when you need it.
We’re gonna miss you Uncle John. I pray you are enjoying your family and making all of them in heaven roll around with raucous laughter as you share all your stories!
Andrew Pena, National Bank Examiner New Orleans Office
May 3, 2021
Living in Tyler, I became a part of the Longview Field Office at the time of the OTS merger. My fondest memory of John was his kindness. He truly had a good heart. I will be eternally grateful to him for volunteering to host my retirement party at his new, beautiful home in Longview. That was in 2014, and it was a very nice farewell gathering. Very kind and generous, and a nice display of hospitality. Of course, I also cherish the visits with John standing around the back of his pick-up during an occasional break. The rides to lunch were also fun and entertaining. All good memories! Rest in peace, my friend.
Steven P. Paar
Retired - Longview Field Office
May 3, 2021
John was a great guy! His lively spirit will be missed. Yes he had a way with words. But he usually hit the nail on the head about things. I always enjoyed when he examined my bank. Sometimes we would go toe to toe about things. But we always respected each other and remained good friends. When he bought a lot and built a house in my husband's subdivision, he could not continue to exam my bank. But that did not stop our friendship. He loved to see when I was building houses and come in and look. He has hosted one of our neighborhood Christmas parties and attended several others. You always knew that when John came, you were going to have a fun time. I know the Lord is having a grand time with John telling his stories. God Bless you John.
April 29, 2021
In more ways than one, John will always be remembered as my personal "life changer." Thank you, John, for all you did for me and my family. John was indeed a special person and will be truly missed. Vaya Con Dios, my friend.
April 28, 2021
I had the honor of working with John since July 2018. He was the heart of our office in Longview. John never met a stranger, talked to everyone, and treated everyone the same. He loved his work, loved to razz others, and loved it when someone razzed him. He was so special and we will miss him terribly!
April 28, 2021
John, you were the spirit of our office, a great worker and loving friend. You were so loved by many. Everyone is in our thoughts and prayers.