Royal Phillip Simmons, age 98, of Centerville, Iowa passed away Sunday, June 13, 2021 at MercyOne Medical Center in Centerville.
Royal was born on April 10, 1923, the son of George Jefferson Simmons and Carrie (Benson) Simmons. On April 27, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army. Royal served 11 months and 12 days in the Southwest Pacific Theater. He was wounded on March 19, 1944. On December 23, 1944, Royal was honorably discharged from the United States Army at the Winter General Hospital in Topeka, Kansas. He received several awards for his service, including the Bronze Star.
Following his father’s passing, Royal continued the family construction business in the 1940’s after serving overseas in World War II. Royal and his crew built many homes and buildings all over southern Iowa, including the band shell on the Centerville square, ISU buildings in Corydon and Chariton, the original gas station across from Raymond’s Dairy Crème, several water treatment plants and public use buildings at Rathbun Lake, and many more.
Royal was a member of the Historical Preservation Society and volunteered as a supervisor and carpenter for the restorations of the Ritz Theater, the State Street Station and trolly barn as well as the Second Baptist Church on 18th Street in Centerville. Royal was also a member of the VFW, and the American Legion.
Royal was a faithful lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and remained passionate even to the end of his life about sharing the message of Jesus’ return. He served as a deacon in the church and as a light in the community.
Left to honor Royal’s memory are his children, Stephen Simmons of Centerville, and Mark (Gwen) Simmons of Centerville, and his grandchildren, Katie (Nathaniel) Simmons/Salzman, and Jonathan (Sarah) Simmons.
Royal was preceded in death by his parents, George and Carrie Simmons; his wife, Patricia Simmons; and his 13 siblings; Lena Simmons, Ruth Vandenbrink, Agnes Simmons, Esther Ray, Edyth Johnson, George Simmons, Chester Simmons, Madge Peterson, Ray Simmons, Paul Simmons, Alfred Simmons, Alfreda Simmons, and Virginia Simmons.
A Memorial service will be held at 12PM, Thursday, June 17, 2021 at the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church, 20124 205th Ave., Centerville, IA 52544 with Pastor Jeremy Clark officiating. Military Rites will be conducted at the church following the Memorial service. Inurnment will follow at Haines Cemetery, north of Centerville. Visitation will take place Thursday, June 17, 2021 at the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist church, with the family greeting friends from 10 AM-12PM. Memorials have been established to the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency) and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, C/O Simmons family, 1900 South 18th Street, Centerville, Iowa 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.
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