Wilma B. Simmons, 97, of Jacksonville, IL died Sunday, August 14, 2011 at her residence.
She was born January 7, 1914 in Sylvan Grove, KS; the daughter of Samuel J. and Della Books Ward. She married Neil E. Simmons on September 20, 1936 in Sylvan Grove, KS and he preceded her in death on August 24, 1963.
She is survived by a daughter-in-law, Mable A. Simmons of Jacksonville; a granddaughter, Annette Simmons of Jacksonville; and a nephew, James Ward of Corpus Christie, TX. She was preceded in death by a son, Terry Simmons on October 2, 1982, and a brother, Earl S. Ward.
Mrs. Simmons graduated from Sylvan Grove High School and Ft. Hays Teacher’s Normal (now known as Ft. Hays University). She taught school in a rural Kansas for four years prior to her marriage. After residing in Peoria, she moved to Jacksonville in 1947. She was employed in the office of Morgan County Circuit Clerk Phil Bradish and later worked as a legal secretary for Attorney Harry G. Story for over 25 years.
She was a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants, National and Illinois Legal Secretaries Associations, and the Cass-Morgan-Scott Legal Secretaries Association which she helped organize and served as its first president. She was also a 79 year member of the Wilber Chapter Order of Eastern Star and later the Adah Robinson Chapter. In addition, she was a life member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and Jacksonville Woman’s Club.
Devoted to her church, Wilma was a charter member of First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville where she was an ordained elder, trustee, Sunday School teacher, and active member of various committees.
Funeral services will be held 2:30 PM Thursday, August 18, 2011 at the First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville with burial at Memorial Lawn Cemetery, south of Jacksonville. Friends may call after 2:00 PM Wednesday at the Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville where the family will meet friends from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Memorial gifts are suggested to First Presbyterian Church or Hospice of Sangamon County. Condolences may be sent online at www.buchanancody.com .