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Anne M. Childress, newspaper editor, dies

Anne Childress - Original Credit: handout
Anne Childress - Original Credit: handout (Handout / HANDOUT)

Anne M. Childress, a former News American editor and freelance writer, died Sept. 23 from heart failure at The Pines, an Easton assisted-living facility. The former longtime Dickeyville resident was 81.

The former Anne Matthews, daughter of William B. Matthews Jr., state director of boating, and his wife, Louisa Bowen Matthews, a Samuel Ready School teacher, was born and raised in Baltimore.

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Ms. Childress was a graduate of St. Mary’s School, now St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City, and was a 1960 summa cum laude graduate of Washington College, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree in English.

Because her grades were the highest ever recorded by the college, she was the first recipient of the George Washington Medal, created to recognize this academic achievement. She also received the Alumni Medal, B. Fox Medal and a medal from the college’s Board of Visitors and Governors.

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She began her career in journalism as a $40-a-week copy girl working for the News American and eventually became a reporter, a feature writer in the paper’s Sunday Department and a second- string music, film and drama critic.

In 1964, Ms. Childress was named film critic and columnist and later became editor of the Sunday entertainment section and women’s page editor. In 1974, she left the newspaper and became a freelance writer and consultant, whose major clients included the U.S. Treasury Department and Health Care Financing Administration.

For years before moving to Easton about a decade ago, she lived in a 190-year-old home on Wetheredsville Road in historic Dickeyville, where she was an active member of the community association.

She enjoyed attending the opera, movies and theater, and was also an avid reader and bridge player.

Her marriage to Richard W. Childress, a news photographer for The Evening Sun, The Sun and Sunday Sun, ended in divorce.

Services are private.

She is survived by a brother, William B. Matthews III of Grasonville; a nephew; and two nieces.

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