Obituaries » Billie Childress Plank

Billie Childress Plank

November 12, 1924 - February 11, 2022

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


Condolences & Tributes

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Cindy, Your parents were one of our favorite couples in the Fredericksburg Church. Your sweet mother was the first person to greet our family when we visited the church for the first time. After we joined the church we became great friends. She always spoke to our three young children and they grew up to enjoy talking with Billie and Jack. Your dad was the best, especially on the tennis court. He would always try to make me feel sorry for him on the court since he was significantly older, but then he would hit these drop shots just over the net and beat me. I also remember Jack encouraging Billie to lift small weights for her arms to remain strong. Loved that Jack! Both Billie and Jack brought a lot of joy to many members of the church by just being welcoming and kind. They will be missed but please know they will be in our hearts forever. Meg and Dave Bohmke

Posted by Dave and Meg Bohmke on February 21, 2022

Billie was such a sweet soul ! I had many conversations with her on raising a Child !She always asked me about my Daughter and wanted to know all about what she was up to . I got to know her over years , Jack as well he would drive her and hang out reading his paper ! Sorry to hear of Billie passing - Jack also I had no idea he passed back in 2020 I’m Glad they celebrated that 70th Anniversary. Cindy sorry for your loss - they are united agin in heaven

Posted by Lisa Turille on February 20, 2022

Cindy We met only once, at Bill's funeral in 1993. Family is family is family. Billie was important to Jaynes family, as are you. So lucky you were to have your mother for so long. May your memories be your blessing.

Posted by Dana DiCarlo (Plank) on February 20, 2022

Cindy, I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing! So hard to lose a parent!

Posted by Meredith Marks on February 16, 2022

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