I’m writing my own obituary. Who knows me better than me? For those who care to read it. My story begins in 1930, before I was born during the Great Depression. My folks gave birth to a baby girl, a “Blue Baby”. Doctors told them the only chance she had to live would be to move to a high altitude. They packed up their old jalopy and headed for the high Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My Dad found work on a ranch. My sister Ora Mae died at 6 months.
My mother found that she was expecting again, and Troy Mannie and Mae Nannie Champion rushed back to West Texas so that Doyle Dwaine Champion, me, would be born March 16, 1932, on Texas soil. I grew up working on my Grandpa Coleman’s farm with one brother and three sisters in the days leading up to World War II. My Mother, Aunt, cousin, and me would hire out to area farmers to “chop the weeds out of growing cotton” for 10 hours a day. My pay was 10 cents an hour, that’s a dollar a day. I was 7 years old.
There were two Army Air Force bases nearby. We could look up and the sky would be full of military aircrafts on most days. We moved to the farm when I was 13. I finished High School at Ropesville, Texas and enrolled in Texas Tech College. That’s when I met Sylvia Lee Bennett, and I agreed to a blind date as a favor to a friend. Sylvia was 15, I was 18.
On January 5,1951, I enlisted in the US Air Force. The Korean War was heating up. I served 2 years in Texas and California and 2 years in Japan. On my return to the States, I met Sylvia again, she had grown up. We started dating, and I knew she was the girl for me. We were married March 24, 1956, at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. I started back to college again and worked full time while Sylvia was occupied birthing our 3 daughters and washing diapers. I earned a degree in Business Administration and started work for the Travelers Insurance Company in 1959 in their agency management program in Lubbock. In 1964 we transferred to Midland, Texas. In 1967 we were transferred to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1969 we were transferred to Cincinnati Ohio. In May 1972 I resigned, and we got off the Travelers merry-go-round. We moved to Carmel, Indiana to accept a job as State General agent. In 1981 I accepted a position with American United Life as Director of Agencies in their home office and worked there until I retired in 1997.
After retirement, Sylvia and I traveled. We visited every state and 22 countries. When Sylvia was diagnosed with dementia in 2014, our traveling came to a halt. We stayed home and enjoyed our beautiful home and neighborhood. We were long time members of the Community Bible Fellowship Church in Westfield.
Throughout my life God has blessed me with a loving family, loyal friends, and quality business associates. I am looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus my Lord.
I was predeceased by my wife Sylvia Lee off 66 years; our youngest daughter Freddi Jane Imel (Dennis); and my brother and three sisters.
I am survived by my daughters, Leesa Max Champion and Rossi Ann Champion; granddaughter, Allie Mae Weimer (Jacob); grandson, Scott Champion Imel; great granddaughter, Georgia Lee; and great grandson, Bennett Ray Weimer.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.