Joesph Simmons Sr.

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 31, 2009

Joseph A. Simmons Sr.
PETERSBURG—Pastor Joseph Alfred Simmons Sr., 58, died July 27, 2009, in the Retreat Hospital, Richmond.
He was a resident of Chesterfield County and son of the late Joseph Nicholas Simmons and Ethel Brown Simmons.
The Rev. Simmons graduated from Matoaca High School in 1969, attended Virginia State College, now University, and Lynchburg Seminary and College, Lynchburg.
While at Virginia State Rev. Simmons marched with the famous 110 Marching Band and he also played in Europe with the VSC Concert Band.
He was an avid sportsman, active member of the Drivers Hunt Club and had the honor and respect of many other hunt clubs in the central and southside community.
“Joe”, as he was affectionally called by close friends, was a long-time coach of the Ettrick-Matoaca Youth Association and the first black president of the Chesterfield Ruitan Club on Hickory Road.
He loved acting and acted in many plays directed by Margo Walker (former drama teacher, VSU).
The Rev. Simmons never met a stranger and he was known everywhere for his whit and humor.
Brother Simmons accepted Christ as his savior at the age of 5, was baptized and became a member of Union Branch Baptist Church, Chesterfield. He accepted his call to the gospel ministry in 1973 and has been pastor of several churches — Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Dewitt; Wilburne Baptist Church, Waverly; Loving Union Baptist Church, Disputanta; Liberty Baptist Church, Waverly (Associate Pastor); First Baptist Church, Jarratt; and Jerusalem Baptist Church, Jarratt.
The Rev. Simmons also played piano for the Combine Choir in the Sunday school and organized a Male Choir in Sussex County.
Survivors include his loving and devoted wife, Vivian Marie Higgins Simmons of Chesterfield; two daughters, Sydnee Rochelle Turner (Royal E.) of Yale and Sybil Renee Evans (Timothy) of Ettrick; one son, Joseph Alfred Simmons Jr. (Jessica) of Richmond; nine grandchildren, Brandon Tyrelle, Ryan N., Jaelin LeRoi and Cameron Emanuel Turner, Jessica Nichole and Timera Renee’ Evans, Jasmine Ariel, Jordan Ariana, and Joseph Alfred Simmons, III, mother-in-law, Mary B. Manns, five godchildren; several cousins and in-laws other relatives and many devoted friends too numerous to mention.
A funeral service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Union Branch Baptist Church, Chesterfield.
The Rev. Gregory Howard, pastor, will officiate.
Interment will be in the church cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Jerusalem Baptist Church, Jarrratt, where the Rev. Simmons pastored.
William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg, is handling arrangements.