Harry Newman Simmons, 84, passed away peacefully Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCare Center. He was born April 6, 1932, in Crusoe to the late Samuel Weldon and Eudell Coleman Simmons and was preceded in death by two brothers, Willard and Shelton Simmons.
He was a graduate of Old Dock High School.
Simmons was a veteran of the U.S. Army in the 1950s. After receiving an honorable discharge, he came back home and began his career with Coca-Cola Bottling Works. While still a young man, he was named manager of Coke’s Whiteville plant, a position he would hold until his retirement after more than 45 years with the company. Simmons was known for being a company man. Once while on a fishing trip, he and his buddies ran out of Cokes, leaving only his competitor’s product to drink, but Simmons did without any soft drinks until the trip was over.
Simmons was an active member of Trinity Baptist Church, which he attended for almost 60 years, participating in church business and serving as a long-time deacon. As the last remaining charter member of the Whiteville Optimist Club, he was proud of the organization’s work on behalf of local children involved in Dixie Youth Baseball and other activities.
A devoted family man, Simmons was always quick with a story, especially one that allowed him to brag on his children and grandchildren. In his later years, he gave his best as caregiver for his wife. His unfailing devotion to people led him to reach out and help family and friends. He was known for his great sense of humor and a contagious laugh. He believed in working hard and continued that philosophy even into retirement. He loved Whiteville and never wanted to leave, even in his later years when his children wanted him to be nearer to them.
Visitation will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 in the chapel of McKenzie Mortuary. Final rites will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 in the mortuary chapel. Burial will be in Whiteville Memorial Cemetery.
Simmons was a beloved son, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of almost 60 years, Eula Horne Simmons; one son, Sam Simmons of Wilmington; one daughter, Suzanne Simmons Maynard and son-in-law, Charles Maynard, whom he thought of as a son; two grandchildren, Taylor and Chase Maynard, all of Dublin, Ohio. He also left many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will receive friends at the home of Sam Simmons beginning Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1301 Live Oak Parkway, Wilmington, N.C. 28403.