Bill Twohig Simmons, 97, of Alderson, WV, passed away Friday, May 12, 2017, at the Peyton Hospice House in Fairlea, WV, following a short illness.
Born July 30, 1919, at Grandview, WV, the son of Thomas Jefferson and Julia Sydney Twohig Simmons.
Mr. Simmons attended Alderson Elementary and Alderson High schools, graduating in 1939, where he was honored to play football for his coach and lifelong friend, coach A.A. McLaughlin. Following the untimely death of his father in 1941, he and his mother managed the family dairy farm, Hilltop Dairy, Simmons and Son, until 1949 when he sold his herd of purebred Holsteins. He then took the job of dairy farm manager at Potomac State College of WVU in Keyser, WV. He captured the heart of Frances Tuckwiller, and they were married on August 11, 1951. His mother, Julia, became ill, and they returned to Alderson in the fall of 1952.
He was hired by the Housby Brothers to manage Johnson & Gwinn Hardware Store. While there, he began to sell awnings for his friend, Marc Hedrick. Soon he decided to try it out on his own. He was the owner and operator of Simmons Building Specialities in Alderson from 1954-1996, doing what he loved – selling his products and talking to people in five counties.
Mr. Simmons was a member of the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Alderson, where he taught intermediate Sunday School for 17 years and was an active member of the United Methodist Men. He was also a charter member of the Alderson Lions Club and was still active after 69 years and was a member of the Coach A.A. McLaughlin Scholarship Fund. He served on the board of directors of the First National Bank of Alderson and City National Bank for 27 years; was a Life Scout of the Boy Scouts of America; 4-H All Stars; an initial member of the Greenbrier County Planning Commission; the Hinton-Alderson Development Corporation, which brought a sewing plant to Pence Springs, WV, which had 100 employees; was an initial member of the Greenbrier Valley Chamber of Commerce; served on Alderson's Town Council; and was instrumental in acquiring the land for Alderson's City Park.
One of the highlights of his life was attending WVU football games with his dear friends, Judge Charles M. Lobban and Rodney Pack. In his early days, after getting his pilot's license, he enjoyed flying over Greenbrier County, and he was also a C&O Railroad enthusiast who enjoyed watching the trains come through Alderson. Mr. Simmons was proud of his Irish heritage and was known and will always be remembered for his kind and gentle humor, as well as his radiant, winning smile.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Evelyn "Sis" Simmons; his brother, Hubert "Mike" Simmons; and sister-in-law, Virginia Simmons.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Frances Tuckwiller Simmons of Alderson; four children, Dr. Michael Simmons and wife, Pamela, of Baltimore, MD, Julia Shafer and husband, Allen, of Lewisburg, WV, Margaret "Margy" Simmons of Alderson, and Thomas Simmons and wife, Belinda, of Princeton, WV; four grandchildren, Laura Simmons of New York City, NY, Brittany Lane and husband, Joshua, of Princeton, Jessica Bulson and husband, Taylor, of Bluefield, WV, and Benjamin Simmons of Princeton; one great-granddaughter, Nobalee Lane of Princeton; a brother-in-law, Sam Tuckwiller and wife, Mary Lou, of Lewisburg; a sister-in-law, Ruth Sweet of Lewisburg; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 11 AM at the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Alderson with the Revs. Rick Duncan, Sam Groves, and Richard Lohmeyer officiating. Burial will follow in the Alderson Cemetery in Alderson.
Friends may call Friday, May 19, from 5:30-8 PM at the Lobban Funeral Home in Alderson and one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday.
Serving as pallbearers will be Jack Tuckwiller, Slater Tuckwiller, Reese Tuckwiller, Matthew Tuckwiller, Byron Tuckwiller, and Ben Tuckwiller.
For those considering an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the Alderson Lions Club, P.O. Box 849, Alderson, WV 24910 or to the Alderson Ministerial Association, P.O. Box 641, Alderson, WV 24910.
Lobban Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary originally published in the May 17, 2017, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.