Billie Wallace Sumner

  • Born: March 31, 1929
  • Died: February 10, 2018
  • Location: Mount Pleasants, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel

1494 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Tel. (843) 881-9293

Tribute & Message From The Family

Billie Wallace Sumner, born March 31, 1929 in Elkhorn City, Kentucky, daughter of the late Kelly Wallace and the late Pearl Fleming Wallace died Saturday, February 10, 2018. Billie, 88, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was the wife of the late Dr. Edward Donald Sumner, Sr. Her funeral service will be held at the crypt side on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Mt. Pleasant Memorial Gardens, 1308 Mathis Ferry Road at 2:00 pm. arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL.

Billie was a beautiful lady and accomplished artist. She created extraordinary work which is displayed in offices and homes throughout the country. Billie was the Director of the outdoor art show for Piccolo Spoleto for almost twenty years. She was also a founding member of the French Quarter Art Gallery Association which began the French Quarter Art Walk.

Billie was a signature member of the South Carolina Watercolor Society and International Society of Experimental Artists. She won first place in the Southern Watercolor Society show with her painting "Windows of Life". She also had her work selected to be the poster for Piccolo Spoleto for three years. During her years in Charleston, Billie owned several art galleries. Her first gallery was on Chalmers Street for 17 years. She later opened two separate galleries in Mount Pleasant. She was known as a renaissance woman, a mentor and friend to many. Billie was wonderful mother and Mamaw. She will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Kersey of Mount Pleasant, SC; son, Edward Donald Sumner, Jr. (Georgiana) of Athens, GA; grandchildren, Rev. Lissa Sumner Long (Grahame), Ashley Sumner Heslop (Clay), Bryan Joseph Kersey, Sarah Grace Kersey and Justin Edward Kersey and great grandchildren, Sydney Heslop, Macie Sumner, Brenna Heslop, and Sumner Long. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Dr. Edward D. Sumner Scholarship Fund, C/O College of Pharmacy, MUSC, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425 and/or The Salvation Army, 2135 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29407.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Just found out about Billie's passing. I knew her from Springmaid Watercolor Workhop. She and her husband were lovely people. My husband and I lived on Long Island at the time and stayed with them for a night on the way to Florida. She had one of my paintings and I have one of hers, which I love. Sincerely, Karen

Posted by Karen Ann Patton - Ormond Beach, FL - Friend   April 04, 2018

We only just learned of Billie's passing. Our condolences to her family. We have many pieces of Billie's art including Window of Life. Although the art world lost a wonderful artist our home is a little brighter because of her. May God Bless.

Posted by Katharine & Randy Washburn - Hanahan, SC - Acquaintance   April 01, 2018

She was my beautiful friend, and I loved her. Melissa, I am so sorry. Not everyone gets a mother so lovely. I will miss talking with her. I will miss all her encouragement and her love. May God care for her tenderly and give her unimaginable joy through all eternity.

Posted by Rhonda Doré - El Paso, TX - friend   February 17, 2018

To the Sumner family,

I'm so sorry for your loss. May God "comfort your hearts and make you firm" during this time of sorrow. 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17

Posted by Susan M    February 15, 2018

Thank you Billie for your dedicated years to Piccolo Spoleto. Thanks for your advice I was juried into the show twelve years ago. We know you'll always be there in spirit! Many thanks Billie!!9

Posted by Chris Rutigliano - Mt. Pleasant, SC - Friend   February 15, 2018

Melissa and Donnie, we are so sorry to hear about Billie. We have such fond memories of being neighbors and friends of both Billie and Tommy for many years. We are thinking of your family during this sad time.

Posted by Harold & Rhonda Waldrop - Portland, OR   February 14, 2018


So sorry to learn of Mrs. Sumner. I will never forget her and Dr. Sumner. They were always so kind.

Posted by Sparkle Keith - North Charleston, SC   February 14, 2018

Over the years, Billie provided me with so many laughs, kind actions, and cherished memories, as a dear friend. She was loved by many, and will be missed. Peace and love to Billie's family and countless friends.

Posted by Tate Nation - Charleston, SC   February 14, 2018


I have so many, many Billie stories. If any of you would like to call or email me I would love to share them. I met Billie when I first came to Charleston in 1975. We met in Virginia Fouche Bolton's Watercolor class and were instant friends. She was a kindred spirit and became a permanent part of my life's landscape.
My favorite story that captures Billie's spirit and personality is in the Spring of 1976 when I was exhibiting next to her on the fence of the graveyard across from St. Phillip's church in Charleston. She had just told me that her dentist would be by later to choose a painting to trade for his services. (Wow, I thought!). Billie was talking to another customer when a couple approached and stopped in front of my paintings. As I was walking toward them, I heard the woman say what if I do not want any of her paintings? Are we still obligated? Uh oh, I though- the dentist! I walked them over to Billie and she turned that special focus on them, led by her lovely smile and engaging chuckle. An hour later, when they left, the dentist and his wife had not only chosen the painting for trade but had purchased 2 more and commissioned another. I was and still am in awe.
I loved her dearly. This part of my heart will always be hers.

Posted by Carolyn Epperly - Charleston, SC - Friend   February 14, 2018

Our home is graced by her paintings, blessed by her memory. She is loved forever.

Posted by Louis Lunardini - Bluffton, SC   February 14, 2018

Rest In Peace my dear friend and mentor.

Posted by Monnie Johnson - North Charleston, SC - Friend   February 13, 2018


You are one of a kind. You were the best grandmother, mother and friend. I cannot imagine life without yet. it is going to be a long journey. I will always love you! you're with papaw now, and thats my only solitude.

Posted by sarah kersey - Charleston, SC   February 13, 2018

Family Album