Harry Milor Childers, born November 9, 1929, to Harry Frederick Childers and Frances Woodruff Childers in Ponca City, Oklahoma, passed away at the age of 90 in late January 2020 in his home in Lake Isabella, Calif. A long time resident, he recently lost his home, like so many others, to the Erskine Fire of 2016. Prior to moving to Lake Isabella, he also lived in Marina Del Rey, Calif; Detroit, Mich.; Merriam, Kan.; and Lawrence, Kan.
The oldest of five, Harry (lovingly referred to as ‘Milor’ by family) is survived by his brother Thomas Wilson Childers of Houston, TX, and sisters Mary Sue Foster of Wichita, Kan. and Cynthia Ann Dunn, of Summerfield, Fla. as well as numerous nieces and nephews, who adored him. He is preceded in death by both parents, brother Kelleam Frederick Childers, who passed away in May of 2019 and niece Karen Childers. He will be laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, Calif., close to his brother and friend, Kelleam. A private memorial and family reunion will be held this summer in his memory.
Harry joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in Kansas City along with both brothers and was called to active duty during the Korean War. After his enlistment, he finished his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
His intelligence and creativity was enviable, and his inventions and ingenuity served him well throughout his life. After KU, he worked for Chrysler in Detroit for several years before pursuing and earning a Masters in Aeronautical and Astro Engineering from Stanford in 1964, after which he went to work designing helicopters for Hughes Tool Company in Southern California. He was able to retire early and enjoy life.
Milor is remembered as an adventurer who lived by his own rules. Whether it was skiing double black diamonds with no ski poles, taking a 6 year-old niece on her first motorcycle ride, venturing out into a stormy sea with siblings on his restored house boat or flying wildly into the skies, Milor never failed to make a memory. He challenged life and questioned the ‘rules.’
One of his hobbies included building his own Rutan VariEZe airplane, sharing the joy with a 10 year-old nephew who also loved and pursued aviation. Unfortunately, the plane was never flown and perished in the fire that destroyed his home.
Milor made a number of life choices that, like his flying days, kept him under the radar and advocated for simple living. He would walk or ride a bicycle before using a car, take a train or bus before taking a commercial flight. He valued exercise and carefully examined anything he put into his body. He was a vocal advocate and research enthusiast for ways to improve health and longevity throughout his long and healthy life. Basham Funeral Care, Bakersfield, is making final arrangements.
https://www.bashamfuneralcare.com. Condolences may be left.