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Billie Childress Plank

November 12, 1924 - February 11, 2022

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Billie Childress Plank died February 11, 2022, at 97 years of age.  She was born on November 12, 1924, in Bristol, Tennessee to Margaret Mumpower Childress and Henry Davault Childress.  She and her older siblings Harry and Lucille grew up in the historic Hammer/Childress house, a former stagecoach inn in Paperville, Tennessee.

Billie graduated from Bristol Tennessee High School in 1943 where she was co-valedictorian of her senior class.  She graduated cum laude from King College in Bristol in 1947 and worked there as the Assistant Registrar.  She married John “Jack” McNeil Plank Jr in 1950, they moved to Washington DC, and Billie became the Assistant Registrar at George Washington University.

Their daughter Lucinda “Cindy” was born in 1952 and she, Jack and Cindy lived in Annandale Virginia for many years.  After a brief stay in Catonsville, Maryland, and Jack’s retirement in 1986, they moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia. Billie thoroughly enjoyed being a part of The Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg where she was an Elder and was also a member of The Woman’s Club of Fredericksburg.  She and Jack were able to travel to wonderful destinations, and throughout her life Billie cherished her many friendships and deeply loved and was always proud of her family.  The couple moved to Lynchburg, Virginia in 2008 to be near their daughter and they celebrated their 70Th anniversary on April 18, 2020, before Jack died on June 5th of that year.

Billie is survived by her daughter, Cindy Harper and son-in-law Gary; her granddaughter Lee Harper Pulatie and husband, Derek; her grandson William Lewis McNeil Harper; her great-granddaughters Harper and Celeste Pulatie; a great-grandson Wyatt Pulatie; two nieces, Margaret Wood and Debbie Youngman; several cousins, and many friends.

Heartfelt appreciation to Jack and Billie’s loyal caregiver Mary Johnson, Kim Moisa and her kind team of caregivers at the very special Noah’s Landing, and the Bedford Centra Hospice Team.

There will be a memorial service to honor and celebrate Billie and Jack together. Time and place have yet to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make memorial donations please consider the building fund for The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg or the American Heart Association.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, is assisting the family. To send online condolences please visit


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