Clarence ‘Pinky’ Simmons

Published 7:17 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Clarence “ Pinky “ Simmons, Jr, 89 of Jefferson, AL, passed away Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, May 9 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Demopolis, AL with Rector John David Barnes officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to service.

Pallbearers will be Bobby Daniels, Derek Boulware, John Ryle, Mark Dowdy, Tom Perry, and Crutcher Dunnavant. Honorary pallbearers will be the Rotary clubs of both Gadsden and Demopolis and his coffee clubs in Demopolis and Linden.

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Mr. Simmons was born Oct. 10, 1925, in Marengo County and grew up on the Hildredth-Simmons family homestead in Jefferson.

Clarence Jr. or “Pinky” as he was affectionately referred to due to his red hair and fair complexion, was the oldest of four children by parents Clarence Sr. and Maggie Dale Simmons.

Pinky graduated from Linden high school in 1943, then entered Auburn University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a naval flight student during WWII.

He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1949 with a Bachelor of Law degree.

Shortly after graduating, Pinky served on Alabama Gov. Gordon Persons election campaign, and was appointed to a judgeship in Cherokee County, which at age 23 made Pinky the youngest district judge in Alabama history.

He would later move to Gadsden to begin his private law practice, marry and raise 5 children.

Pinky aggressively pursued his ambition for both professional and civic success. First as founding partner for 42 years of the Simmons Law Firm, as well as founding member and Chairman of the Board of Coosa Federal Savings and Loan and founding member of Coosa Valley Bank.

He was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Alabama Bar Association and the American Bar Association and was honored by the States Court of Appeals in 1975.

He was a founding member and a past president of the Alabama Defense Attorneys Association. He also found time to serve many leadership roles for local boards and committees, including the Gadsden United Methodist Church on the Board of Trustees, past president of the Gadsden Country Club and was an honored recipient of Rotary International’s, Paul Harris Fellow.

In 1994. Pinky retired from his law practice in Gadsden, and returned to his family farm in

Jefferson, AL. For the next 22 years, he remained active in the communities of Jefferson, Linden and Demopolis. His love of family and passion for his Jefferson heritage was clear to all.

Pinky was a natural force and unique presence in this world, and for those of us who knew him, he will forever hold special place in our lives.

Clarence Simmons, Jr is preceded in death by his parents Clarence Sr. and Maggie Dale Simmons, brother, Robert Ellis Simmons and daughter,

Anne Simmons, Ph.D. He is survived by his son, Dr. John Clarence

Simmons of Jefferson; daughters Mary Simmons Ryle (John) of Gadsden, Susie Simmons Dowdy Atlanta, Caroline Simmons Boulware (Derek) of Daphne, grandchildren, Crutcher Dunnavant, Aimee Dunnavant Martin(Jake), Julia Alma Ryle, Jordan Elizabeth Ryle, Amelia Grace Dowdy, Ansley Caroline Boulware and great grandchildren, Eleanor Dunnavant Martin and Lincoln Jacob Martin and several nieces and nephews. He was also survived by two sisters, Julia Ann “Dook” Salley (Bob) of California and Ruth Allen of Old Spring Hill in Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask memorials be made to the Jefferson Cemetery Fund. c/o Dr. John Simmons 26245 AL Highway 28 West, Jefferson, AL 36745