• 41°

Thomas Edward Simmons

Loyal and dedicated husband and father, devoted grandfather, loving brother, uncle, friend and true servant leader, was called home from this earth to be with his Lord on Oct. 20. He was born on Dec. 25, 1939, in Plano, Texas to Robert Lee Simmons and Minnie Lorena Waid.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his best friend, love of his life, and wife of over 54 years, Wilma Jean Simmons.

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

He leaves nine wonderful grandchildren, Chanel, Christopher and Dylan Copeland; Alan Smith, Amy Bell (Andrew), David and Lauren Smith, Rebecca Evans (Clay) and Karry Jones; one great-grandchild, Raven Copeland.

He is also leaving many beloved siblings, nephews and nieces, cousins and friends.

Ed grew up in Dallas with his parents and five siblings, Oliver Simmons of Mesquite, Texas; Doyle Simmons of Dallas, Texas; Wayne Simmons (Joy) of Mesquite, Texas; Nelliw Hastcoat of Rowlett, Texas and Nettie Watkins of Eldorado, Ark.

Ed enjoyed a happy childhood and often shared fond memories of his school days, especially at NR Crozier Technical High.

In school, Ed was an active member of many clubs and organizations, including the National Honor Society, Key Club, varsity cheerleading and tumbling team.

He graduated with honors, and was elected by his classmates as most popular his senior year.

Ed met Wilma while attending East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas and they were married on Aug. 20, 1960, in Dallas.

They joined a local church, taught youth Sunday School and Ed began honing his skills as a future Royal Ambassador Director.

He also started a career with General Electric in the Dallas warehouse.

His service with GE was interrupted for four years, as duty called and Ed answered with a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force.

When Ed’s tour was over and his obligation complete, General Electric welcomed him back into their industrial sales division, and there, the Lord prospered him exceedingly.

He was invited in 1979 to transfer to the Birmingham office of operations in their Electronic Distribution and Control Division where he continued to thrive.

Ed was recognized many times for his outstanding contributions and achievements.

He was a three time GE Management Award recipient, member of the Order of the Musketeers in 1993, and member of the prestigious Navigators Group in 1995 and 1997.

Even though his job and career of 40 years kept him busy, he always made time for the Lord.

After Ed accepted Christ as his Savior at a Billy Graham Crusade in Dallas at the age of 13, the Holy Spirit instilled in him a desire to serve and serve he did, as a Sunday School Teacher, Royal Ambassador Director, deacon in his church, and member of the Gideon’s International Organization.

After retirement, Ed also enjoyed serving alongside many other volunteers and friends in several ministries including the Chilton County Baptist Builders, the Chilton County Master Gardeners, Chilton Baptist Association Missions, Shelby Baptist Church and Community Ministries, the Sonlight Ministries Center, Bridgestone, and the Chilton Baptist Hispanic Mission.

He and Wilma also had the opportunity and blessing to serve on four consecutive mission trips to the Pu’u Kahea Baptist Conference Center on the island of Oahu.

Ed’s life is, was, and always will be a testimony to the love and devotion he had for God, family, and country. He made a lasting, positive impression on every person and every life that he had the pleasure of meeting and touching and we will all miss him sorely until we see him again.

Many years ago, Wilma’s uncle Wilson who was very fond of his nephew-in-law, said, “Eddie may be short in stature, but he’s a mountain of a man in my eyes.” No truer words were ever spoken.

Friends will be received from 12:30 until 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Mulberry Baptist Church.

Services will be held Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. at Mulberry Baptist Church with the Rev. Andy Mims and the Rev. David Bishop officiating.

Interment will follow in Mulberry Baptist Cemetery in Maplesville.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Gideon’s International Memorial Bible Fund.

Martin Funeral Home directing.

You may leave online condolences on the guest registry for the family at www.martinfuneralhomeinc.com.