Wilma Jean Simmons

Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Devoted Christian servant, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend went to heaven to be with her Lord on April 13.

She was born on Sept. 13, 1941, in Donie, Texas to Willie T. and Zelda Laverne Carpenter.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Robert and Jimmie Carpenter.

Wilma is survived by her husband of 54 years, Ed Simmons; one son, Jeff (Valli) Simmons, Red Oak, Texas; twin daughters, Carol (Ken) Smith of Montevallo and Kathy (Jeff) Jones of Columbiana.

She leaves nine wonderful grandchildren: Chanel, Christopher and Dylan Copeland; Alan Smith, Amy (Andrew) Bell, David and Lauren Smith; Rebecca (Clay) Evans and Karry Jones; and one great-grandchild, Raven Copeland. She also leaves many beloved siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Wilma grew up in the country with her parents and 10 siblings: Robert (Betty) Carpenter, Houston, Texas; Jimmie (Charlsie) Carpenter, Ennis, Texas; Vernell (Mickey) Sunday, Bryan, Texas; Mary (Joe) Loving, Palestine, Texas; Don (Penny) Carpenter, Teague, Texas; JoAnn (John) Brown, Corsicana, Texas; Melba Hullum, Pasadena, Texas; Lona (Larry) Cates, Henderson, Texas; Dorothy (Bill) Darby, Wylie, Texas; and Carolyn (Bill) Hunt, Tatum, Texas.

Wilma attended East Texas Baptist College where she met Ed.They were married August 20, 1960, in Dallas, Texas.

She was devoted to her husband, children and grandchildren, and was a full-time homemaker. Her lifelong priorities were God first, family and friends. Wilma was a selfless servant, content to be in the background, and let others take recognition. 1 Peter 3:3-4 describes her perfectly: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Wilma started serving her Lord Jesus Christ early in life, teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School classes to children, and later taught Bible classes to adults.

She enjoyed singing in several church choirs.Wilma had a heart for missions and served on Chilton Baptist Association mission trips, Mulberry Baptist Church mission trips and four short term mission trips to Pu’u Kahea Baptist Conference Center in the Waianae area of Oahu.

She served in the Chilton Baptist Hispanic missions from the mid-1990s until November 2013.

She enjoyed serving many years as an active member of the Gideons International Auxiliary, adding many great Christian family members to her life.

Wilma spent several years volunteering at Shelby Baptist Church and Community Ministries, SonLight Ministries, Bridgestone and other worthwhile mission endeavors. She enjoyed working with her flowers, growing gardens and preserving food for her family.

This inspired her to become a 13-year member of the Chilton County Master Gardener Association where she volunteered with many other wonderful, loving friends.

The joy of seeing lives changed, touched by the Word of God and the love of dear, caring members of these ministries strengthened her walk with Christ.

In 2005 her dream of seeing the Holy Land was fulfilled as she walked where Jesus walked.

Wilma’s memorial service will be held April 16 at 3 p.m. at Mulberry Baptist Church in Maplesville (Isabella community), directed by Martin Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m.

The family, at Wilma’s request, asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Gideon’s International Memorial Bible Fund.