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Billie Corinne Smith was born July 9, 1931, to William Thomas and Cora Ethel Smith at their home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is where she also came to know her Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Billie went to her heavenly home on Thursday, December 5, 2019, at the age of 88, surrounded by family.
Billie graduated as Salutatorian from Central High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1949. She studied piano at Cadek Conservatory of Music of the University of Chattanooga. She served for many years as pianist of First Baptist Rossville and taught piano and voice for many years.
Billie married L. Frank Welch on August 29th of 1954. She graduated from Norman College, Norman Park, Georgia, in 1955 with high honors.
Billie's life calling and desire was to be a pastor's wife, which she did for over 40 years. Her late husband, Rev. Frank Welch, served his first pastorate at Imaha Baptist in Sycamore, Georgia. Billie taught piano and voice at Sycamore High School. She also taught school at many locations throughout Georgia where Frank served various pastorates.
Billie and Frank retired to Bryan, Texas in 1991. Frank served as the director of the Brazos County Salvation Army and Billie served as the bookkeeper. They opened the first Salvation Army store in Bryan, Texas. Billie led a Salvation Army Bible study until her health deteriorated to a point she could no longer lead, but continued to enjoy frequent visits by those in the Bible study until her death.
Billie was actively involved at First Baptist Bryan where she taught the Anna Class and was a faithful member of the Broadman Singers.
Billie was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Welch, on July 19, 1993, enjoying 39 years of marriage. On October 19, 2002, Billie married Vaughn D. Manning who was preceded in death of his wife of 59 years. Billie and Vaughn enjoyed three and one-half wonderful years of marriage until his death on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006. Billie frequently stated that those were the happiest years of her life.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Ben & Sherri Welch of College Station, Texas and beloved grandchildren Rachel and husband Collin Kruger of Houston, Ryan, and Graham of College Station; a son, Scott Welch of Birmingham, Alabama and beloved grandchildren Anne Mitchell and Lillie Corinne of Birmingham, Alabama; a brother, Jack C. Smith of Chattanooga, Tennessee; one step-son, the late Rev. Jim Manning and wife, Colleen Manning; two step-daughters and husbands, Drs. Charlotte & Paul Stephenson of Houston, Texas; and Trink & Jack Ruthven of Blue, Texas. Billie was preceded in death by her son, William James Welch.
A visitation will begin at 1 PM with a Celebration of Life to follow at 2 PM on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at Hillier Funeral Home of BRYAN. A private family Internment will take place at Bryan City Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Bryan, 3100 Cambridge Drive, Bryan Texas 77802; Mission Dignity, which provides "dignity" to Baptist ministers, workers and their widows who have faithfully served God's people, most often in small rural churches, and now find themselves struggling to meet even basic needs. Mission Dignity, 2401 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas Texas 75201 or The Salvation Army, 2506 Cavitt Avenue, Bryan Texas 77801.
Sunday, December 8, 2019
1:00 - 2:00pm
Sunday, December 8, 2019
2:00 - 3:00pm
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