Alderson-Bill Twohig Simmons, 97, passed away Friday, May 12, 2017, at the Peyton Hospice House in Lewisburg, following a short illness.
Born July 30, 1919, at Grandview, he was the son of the late Thomas Jefferson and Julia Sydney Twohig Simmons. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Evelyn “Sis” Simmons; his brother, Hubert “Mike” Simmons; and his sister-in-law, Virginia Simmons.
Mr. Simmons attended Alderson Elementary and Alderson High School, graduating in 1939 where he was honored to play football for his coach and life-long 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. He captured the heart of Frances Tuckwiller and they were married Aug. 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 dedded to try it on his own. He was the owner and operator of Simmons Building Specialties 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 Class 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, which had 100 employees, was an initial member of the Greenbrier Valley Chamber of Commerce; and also 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.
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, Margaret “Margy” Simmons of Alderson and Thomas Simmons and wife Belinda of Princeton; four grandchildren, Laura Simmons of New York, NY, Brittany Lane and husband Joshua of Princeton, Jessica Bulson and her husband Taylor of Bluefield and Benjamin Simmons of Princeton; great-granddaughter, Nobalee Lane of Princeton; brother-in-law, Sam Tuckwiller and wife Mary Lou of Lewisburg; sister-in-law, Ruth Sweet of Lewisburg; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church in Alderson, with the Rev. Rick Duncan, Rev. Sam Groves; and Rev. Dr. Richard Lohmeyer officiating. Burial will follow in the Alderson Cemetery, Alderson.
Friends may call Friday, May 19, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lobban Funeral Home, Alderson, and one hour prior to 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.