Billie Marie Rhymes

Billie Marie Rhymes (nee Bunch), 91, passed away on March 17, 2022.


Born on September 19, 1930 to Lula Bell and Gus Bunch, Billie was raised in Lockhart, TX. After graduating from high school in Austin, TX, she attended Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, San Marcos, TX, where she met her future husband, Charlie. After college graduation, Billie and Charlie married and began a 30+ year career in the Air Force, living in many states and in England and Germany.  Along the way, Billie taught school occasionally, raised three children, volunteered in various church groups, the Red Cross, and other organizations.


Her passion was real estate – finding homes for others, selling homes, decorating her own home, creating beautiful gardens, antiquing, refinishing furniture, and even building and decorating doll houses. As a real estate agent in Northern Virginia in the late 60’s and early 70’s, she refused to “steer” her clients and was an early participant in integrating local neighborhoods.  Billie combined her love of home and decorating with the family’s love of all things beachy and nautical to find unique items and prints for her home and children.


Billie continued working well into her 70s, finally stopping to focus more attention on her beloved granddaughter Kelley.  She spent several years teaching Kelley to bake, shop, and love home as much as she did! Her final years were spent caring for Susan’s dogs and flowers, volunteering at the Closet of Greater Herndon, shopping, and having Charlie chauffeur her on all of her outings. 


Billie leaves behind her husband of 69 years, Charles C. Rhymes, Jr., sons Steven Rhymes (Nancy) of Collierville, TN, and Derek Rhymes (Sigrun Ortmann) of Annapolis, MD, daughter Susan Ficklin of Reston, VA, granddaughter Kelley Ficklin (Mike Sills) and great grandson Trace of Essex Junction, VT, and brother Joseph Bunch (Jan) of Plano, TX.


A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Reston, VA on May 7 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Cornerstones (, the Alzheimer’s Association or the Wounded Warrior