MT. JULIET -- Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at Victory Baptist Church, 1777 Tate Lane, for Mr. Simmons, Jr., 76, of Mt. Juliet.
A nearly 50-year employee of the State of Tennessee, Mr. Simmons died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011.
For just over 30 years Mr. Simmons worked as Executive Secretary to the Secretary of State, serving under the late Gentry Crowell, Bryant Millsaps, Riley Darnell and Trey Hargett until he retired in December of 2009.
Mr. Simmons was honored by former Governor Ned Ray McWherter who appointed him Secretary of State to serve during the disability of Secretary Crowell.
A native of Van Buren County, he was a member of the Baptist church, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a member of American Legion Post #88.
Mr. Simmons was a graduate of Van Buren County High School and obtained a B.S. in 1960 and a M.A. in 1978 from Tennessee Technological University.
He started his career in Tennessee State Government in 1960 as a Junior Auditor with the Department of Finance and Administration rising to the position of Assistant Commissioner for Accounting and Data Processing before joining the staff of Dr. Everett Derryberry, President of Tennessee Technological University.
In 1975, he was promoted to Director for Business and Finance where he served for a number of years before being promoted as Executive Assistant to the Tennessee Secretary of State in 1979. Visitation will be 2-8 p.m. Friday at Bond Memorial Chapel and one hour prior to service time Saturday at the church.
Services will be conducted by Rev. Dave West. Interment with military honors will follow at Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens.
Survivors include: wife Georgette Marie Pearson Simmons and children Jade (Casey) Bowman of Mt. Juliet; Keith (Raye Ann) Simmons of Cookeville; Julie (Tim) Sherrill and Jeanne (John) Collard -- all of Murfreesboro; Jay (Ann) of Colorado Springs, CO and Joseph (Jackie) of Woodbury.
Also surviving is sister Emogene (Charles W.) Hodges of McMinnville as well as other devoted family members and friends.
He was the son of the late, James W. “Jay” and Eliza E. Hillis Simmons.
Mr. Simmons was also preceded in death by siblings Sylvia Malugen, Hazel Chandler, Lemojewel Jones, Reba Gladden, Anna Lou Haston, Richard “Dick” Simmons and Thomas “Tommy” Simmons.
Active pallbearers: Brooks Crowell, Mark Wood, Richard Arnold, Bard Fisher, John Cheney and James Hall. Honorary: will be the Honorable Trey Hargett, the Honorable Riley C. Darnell, the Honorable Bryant Millsaps, Jim Vaden, Rev. Marshall Gupton, Margaret Tolleson and employees of the Tennessee Department of State.
Flowers accepted or memorials may be made to the Mt. Juliet Library, 2765 N. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, 37122.
Arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, Mt. Juliet.