Telephone executive and TFAS supporter Billie Pirnie passed away in the fall of 2012. She oversaw the company her husband started over a half a century ago. Her commitment to her community, as well as her eye for business and philanthropic endeavors, made her a standout role model in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.
Mrs. Pirnie met her husband Bob while attending high school in Kansas City. They two played in the orchestra together – he the violin and she the trumpet. They married in 1944 and had two sons. As a child Mr. Pirnie dreamed of two things – to become a pilot and to own a business. After serving in WWII as a captain flying a B-25 Mitchell light bomber, Mr. Pirnie returned to Alabama and purchased the Union Springs Telephone Company. The company was virtually an obsolete phone system with only 325 magneto wall telephones, and Mr. Pirnie was proud that it gave him the freedom to explore a new challenge.
Mr. Pirnie had an entrepreneurial spirit that led his business to become one of the first independent companies to provide services over fiber optic cable. When the company needed an advertising executive, Mr. Pirnie turned to his wife, and said “You’re it!” Mrs. Pirnie proved her worth by receiving the highest response rate ever. After her husband passed away in 1991, Mrs. Pirnie took over the company. Mrs. Pirnie said she didnt hesitate to take over because after having worked for many years by her husband’s side, she knew what needed to be done. According to Mrs. Pirnie, she loved the challenge of going to the office every day and working in an industry that was constantly changing.
Mrs. Pirnie said she took an interest in The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) because she was impressed by the quality of the lecturers who spoke to its students. According to Mrs. Pirnie, she was concerned that young people didn’t understand the U.S. government nor did they want to. Mrs. Pirnie believed that TFAS provided an important service to the country by educating its future leaders.
In 2007, Mrs. Pirnie established a charitable gift annuity with TFAS. Through this TFAS provided her with a quarterly income payment that allowed her to continue to take care of herself indefinitely. By establishing a charitable gift annuity with TFAS, she received a lifetime income stream with a 9.5% return, a charitable deduction and estate tax savings. After she passed away this past fall, the remaining balance in her annuity account was put directly toward educating more students on the importance of American values and principles.
If you are interested in leaving a legacy like Mrs. Pirnie, please call the TFAS Legacy Society office and ask for Ed Turner. Ed can be reached at 202-509-8966 or eturner@TFAS.org