Billie Sue McFall was born on Feb. 26, 1942, in Alcoa, in a two-bedroom home on Wright Road, just in front of the railroad tracks. She was the second daughter of James McFall and Betty Earl Peace.

She spent her childhood with her beloved older sister, Bobbie Ruth McFall. Billie adored Bobbie and would follow her to the Alcoa pool, where they would spend summers. When Billie didn’t know how to swim, Bobbie lovingly told her to follow her to the deep end anyway or she would leave her at the pool. Since Billie didn’t know the way home, she followed her and eventually learned to swim at the age of 8.

Since her family didn’t have a car until she was 8 years old, Billie and Bobbie would visit their grandparents in Madisonville by bus, and Billie reminisced recently about having to walk through the creek on a dirt road to visit the family farm. Billie and Bobbie shared a life-long bond that was based on unconditional love and respect.

She was raised by her mother and had a very close relationship with her throughout her life as well as her grandparents, Bess and Daniel McFall.

After high school, Billie married Kermit Derrick, and they moved from Eastern Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia, so Kermit could start a job at Delta Airlines. In 1961, Debra Denise Derrick was born, and the family spent the following years in Clayton County, Georgia, a quiet suburb of Atlanta. During this time, Billie spent her time as a doting mother to young DeDe and often traveled to see the world, a passion of hers.

Billie then decided to go to pharmacy school to start her own career. She also attended West End Baptist Church, where she performed sign language for the deaf.

In the early 1980s, her two grandchildren came along, Angela and Rick. She doted on her grandchildren with her time, gifts, energy, and affection. Billie loved taking Angela to Rich’s for clothes shopping, and it was one of their favorite activities together. Billie also loved playing tennis with Rick and taking both of them to feed ducks at the park. She helped pay for Angela and Rick to attend a private Christian school and regularly picked them up after school.

Billie would take the extended family on annual trips to St. Simons, their favorite beach destination, where so many beautiful memories were made.

In 1995, Billie married Dan Holloman and moved to Hinesville, Georgia. They lived happily there for 20 years before relocating to Coker Creek, Tennessee, to enjoy a quiet life in the Eastern Tennessee mountains. They spent their time with the Mennonite community, gardening and canning vegetables and playing with their dog Eddie. They also enjoyed traveling, spending time in Costa Rica and Ireland in recent years.

Personally, Billie was extremely intelligent and loved learning throughout her life. She enjoyed reading and was always interested in exploring new activities. She had an infectious laugh and adored being around her family most of all.

Billie loved people and was always genuinely interested in hearing someone’s story. She was honest, hard-working and very generous.

Billie McFall is preceded in death by: her grandparents, James D. and Bessie McFall; her parents, James D. McFall Jr. and Betty Earl Peace; and her sister, Bobbie McFall Atkins.

She is survived by: her daughter, DeDe Borg;

Her grandchildren, Angela Desin, and Rick Turner;

Her niece, Robin Flenniken;

Six great-grandchildren, Layna, Everly, and Mari Desin, and Grady, Han and Judah Turner.

Billie’s family welcomed friends and family at a Celebration of Life service at Springbrook Park in Alcoa, Tennessee, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Recommended for you