Delmar Leon "Billy" Simmons, Jr., age 86, died June 17, 2014 at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Jackson, MS. Visitation will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on Friday, June 20th at 11:00 am, with service to follow at Noon. Burial will be held afterwards at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home on Highland Colony Parkway in Madison, MS.
Mr. Simmons was born on August 1, 1927 in Poplarville, MS to Verna May and Delmar Leon Simmons, Sr. A long-time Jacksonian, he spent his
early years in Greenville, MS, then moved to Jackson where he attended Duling Elementary and Bailey Jr. High. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1942 and graduated from Central High School in 1945. At age 18, he joined the Navy near the end of WWII and served as a Medic in the Medical Corps until his honorable discharge in 1946. He returned to attend Ole Miss in 1947 and received his BA in 1950. While at the University, he was a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity and participated in the University Singers and the Ole Miss Men's Quartet. He joined his father's agency in the life insurance field, this becoming his primary career. He was later associated with Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home.
He married Elizabeth Luckett Flostrom in 1955 and became an "instant father" to her one-year old daughter, Elizabeth Lee. In the following years, the famHy grew to incJu de two more daughters, Janie Bowen(Mark) , and Anne Graeber(Ken), and a son William D. "Bill" Simmons(Karen). He enjoyed each one of his seven grandchildren, Grace Rooney Haughney (Bill) of Washington, D.C., Reed Bowen of Memphis, TN, Mary Elizabeth Bowen, Cooper Simmons, De Graeber, Beth Graeber and Katie Simmons, all of Jackson, MS. He also leaves other family members: a sister, Nita Simmons Ivy (Ted, deceased) of San Antonio, TX and a brother, Jerry Simmons(Tricia) of Cartersville, GA, a brother-in-law, Joseph Hugh "Son" Luckett, Jr. (Bea) of Tupelo, MS,
a sister-in-law, Mary Semmes Wright (Oliver, deceased] of Atlanta, GA and many nieces and nephews. His long-time friends and "adopted" family members were Helen Hudson and her daughter, Afrika, and more recently, Angela Samuels.
Mr. Simmons held much love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and his church, First Presbyterian Church of Jackson. He loved its ministries, especially the adult choir, where his God-given gift, a beautiful baritone singing voice, graced many services and weddings. His other enduring passions included gardening, Ole Miss sports, Jackson Preparatory School, First Presbyterian Day School, the Jackson Metro YMCA, and the Lake Cavalier community, where he lived and enjoyed spending many wonderful times on the porch and the pier through the years with friends and family.
The family would like to thank the staff and family of the State VA Home and St. Joseph Hospice Ministries for their loving care.
Memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church of Jackson or French Camp Academy, One Fine Place.