Surrounded by his loving wife and family, Neal O. Simmons, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, went to be with our Lord on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Neal was born in Gonzalez, Texas and came to Brownsville in 1967, at which time he married Lourdes Lara. They have a daughter Lourdes (Albino) Simmons Carrasco and a son, Scott (Iris) Simmons. Grandchildren include: Jennifer (Manuel) Kilgore Russell and Todd (Kate) Simmons, Mandy Carrasco, A.J. Carrasco and many nieces and nephews. His great-grandchildren are M. Andrew and Austin James Russell.

Neal was preceded in death by his parents, Abner and Cattie Simmons; a daughter, Susan K. Simmons; and his siblings, Grady Simmons, Donald Simmons, and Joyce (Alvin) Guthrie.

In 1943, Neal entered the Air Force where he served in the Pacific until his discharge in 1946. Upon returning, he entered the profession of home building in which he served for 68 years. During that time, Neal has built 8,600 homes in Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Crystal City, Laredo and Brownsville. He also built apartment complexes in Tulsa, OK; Wichita Falls, and Ingleside.

In 1953, the National Association of Home Builders honored Neal as the Best Builder in the United States.

Neal has served on the Board of Directors and Committees of many community organizations: National Home Builders Association, South Texas Homebuilders Association, Lower Valley Builders & Developers Association, Mercantile Bank, Coastal Banc, Valley Regional Hospital, Brownsville Public Library Foundation, UTB Development Board, First United Methodist Church, and the Boy Scouts.

Neal was very generous with his time and expertise. A high school graduate, education was of the utmost importance to Neal. His desire to give to others the opportunity to receive a college education led him to establish Endowments and Scholarships which over the years have been awarded to many students of UTB/TSC. Seeing the need for a school in the FM 511 area, Neal and Lourdes donated land which was used to build Rancho Verde Elementary.

Neal also accepted a leadership position in establishing the Brownsville Southmost Library branch.

Neal enjoyed serving his community and the people who had so graciously welcomed him to South Texas.

Neal will be greatly missed by his family, friends, employees, and the community he served.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at First United Methodist Church, 1225 Boca Chica Blvd., Brownsville.

Entombment will follow in the Mausoleum at Buena Vista Burial Park.

Scott Simmons, Mike Guthrie, Todd Simmons, Gerardo Rodriguez, Raymond Corkill, Steve Ticer, Rick Lara and Joe Ray Rodriguez are honored to be serving as Neal's pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers will be Albino J. Carrasco, Alvin Guthrie, and Joe Galvan.

Because of Neal's battle and in respect of those who suffer or have died from Cancer, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Neal's name be made to the at or (800) 227-2345 and or the First United Methodist Church, 1225 Boca Chica Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78520.

Family and friends are invited to view the complete obituary, sign the guestbook, and send condolences to Neal's family at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd, Brownsville, Texas 78520, and (956) 546-7111.

Funeral Home

Darling-Mouser Funeral Home
945 Palm Blvd. Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 546-7111

Published in Brownsville Herald on May 2, 2014