James Mabon Childs Jr.

January 14, 1950July 10, 2019

A resident of Raleigh for 36 years, James Mabon Childs, Jr. died peacefully at home on July 10, 2019. He was surrounded by his loving wife, three daughters and three sisters.

Mabon was born January 14, 1950 in Pittsburgh, PA to the late James Mabon Childs, Sr. and Sally Hillman Childs. Mabon attended St. Edmund's Academy in Pittsburgh, graduated from The Taft School in Watertown, CT, and earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mabon enjoyed a career in advertising starting at Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. He was recruited to McKinney in 1983 and was happy to return to the Tar Heel State. He was a creative thinker and an exceptional wordsmith - firmly believed in writing and then re-writing. And when it came to grammar, it was perfectly fine to break the rules as long as you knew the rules. Mabon served as an ad hoc member of the Saint Mary's School marketing committee from 2011 through 2016. Beyond his own children, Mabon was a mentor to younger generations. He was always happy and willing to give career (and general life) advice to those seeking it. Mabon was a man of many talents - a self-professed art historian and a sophisticated collector of magnets, beer coasters and hats.

Mabon loved the outdoors, especially the pristine lakes and trails of the Adirondacks in upstate New York. He spent his summers at the Adirondack League Club in Old Forge, NY where he enjoyed golfing, fishing, rowing boats, listening for loons and socializing. Mabon was a proud member of the Carolina Country Club, Adirondack League Club and Thendara Golf Club. Above all, Mabon loved spending time with his family. He adored his daughters and six grandchildren and it was no secret that he preferred to sit at the kids table whenever he got the chance.

Mabon is survived by his kickass wife, Holly, daughter and son-in-law Frazer and Adam Roche and granddaughters Landon and Lucy of Raleigh, NC, daughter and son-in-law Ellie Childs and Tim Romano and granddaughters Mabel and Blair of Boulder, CO, and daughter and son-in-law Margot and Will Stanley and grandson Harvey and granddaughter Elsie of Raleigh, NC. Mabon is also survived by his three sisters, Marguerite Hillman Childs Detmer and Tom of Denver, CO, Laura Childs Saverin and Ken of New Canaan, CT, Sally Childs Walsh and Alec of Basking Ridge, NJ, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A Service of Thanksgiving for his Life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church on 120 E. Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601 at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Be The Match ( or The North Carolina Museum of Art (

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC.


  • Service of Thanksgiving for Mabon's Life Saturday, July 20, 2019


James Mabon Childs Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Wink Clute

July 19, 2019

I am saddened to hear of Mabon’s passing. I still envision him at Green Lake, a red bandanna around his head, lazily fishing on a summer day. I wish I had the photo of that day to share. My condolences to his family and friends.

George Purnell

July 16, 2019

I was lucky enough to have spent many wonderful hours and days with Mabon as a teenager in the Ligonier/Pittsburgh area. There was a large group of friends, deb parties, fun weekends and a lot good times and laughter. I considered him smart, genuine and enjoyable to be around. Recently, I had not seen Mabon much but always thought of him when I remembered the great times and memories from my teenage years.

Rest in Peace Mabon.

George L. Purnell

Matt Detmer

July 13, 2019

Hi my name is Matt Detmer, I was Mabon godson. Mabon to me he was a good godfather he took me places and I got to spend a lot of time together in New York. I would go to camp and he would pick me up on weekends and we would go golf together. Mabon was a great man I will miss him a lot it is not going to be the same ever again. I now carry a golf ball in his honor.

George Seifert

July 12, 2019

Holly et al. Mabon was one of kind, one the best. I remember him fondly and laugh at some of the fun times together.