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Dr. John Riffe Simmons Jr.(1928 - 2010)

Dr. John R. Simmons Jr., husband of Joan Lawrence Simmons, Died June 3,2010. Born on Sept.23,1928 in Greenville, he was the son of the late Glades Hernlund Simmons and John Riffe Simmons DDS. He was educated in Greenville at Augusta Circle Elementary School, Greenville Junior and Senior High, a member of the great football squad of 1945. He was a member of the Mackie Boy's choir and the Rotary Boys Club.
In 1948, Dr. Simmons graduated and received a degree in Pre-Med from The Citadel, where he was a member of the track team, rifle team, Summerall Guards Drill Platoon, Chapel Usher, Baptist Student Union President, Participant in SC Open Tennis Tournament at the Greenville Country Club and the SC Open Swimming Meet in Columbia SC.
Dr. Simmons earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota in 1952. Captain Simmons served in the United States Air Force as a dentist on the island of Okinawa, Pacific Theater, during the Korean Conflict.
A member of the American Dental Association, he entered the private practice of dentistry, associated with Dr. William Chapman until his retirement in 1988.
He was the past President of the Greenville County Dental Society and the Piedmont District Dental Society. He served in the department of Dentistry for the Greenville Hospital System. He served on the Dental Advisory Committee for the Greenville Technical School in the establishment of the Dental Hygiene program.
He was a trustee of the Greenville United Fund.
Dr. Simmons was of the Protestant faith. He enjoyed his voluntary service with Verner Springs Methodist Mission. He was in the Greenville Little Theater Production of "Inherit The Wind" produced by Bob McClaine. He acted as the controversial science teacher defendant in the evolution-creation trial. Dr. Simmons and Joan went with the SC delegation of People to People program to the Soviet Union in 1970 to foster for better relations thru dental contacts.
Dr. Simmons and his wife left their home in Chanticleer in 1980 to their retirement home in northern Pickens Co.. In the mountains, he has been occupied with golf and yard work.
Dr. Simmons was present at unusual events: An Easter egg roll with President Roosevelt on the White House Lawn, Krushev Parade down Fifth Ave. in NY during the Cold War, went behind the Bamboo Wall in Hong Kong, China and the May Day Assassination of Martin Luther King-Memphis.
Surviving, in addition to his beloved wife, are two daughters, Janalyn Booth and Laurie & husband Dennis Jackson, and a son, Jeffery & wife Denise Simmons. there are five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
His sister Mary Louise Anton of The Downs, Clemson and brothers Charles Simmons of Dewey, Arizona and Dr. Wilbur Simmons of The Rock of Jocassee, Pickens. His brother James Simmons predeceased him.
A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church of Mauldin, 150 South Main Street, Mauldin, SC, at 4 pm Sunday June 6, 2010.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Citadel Foundation, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409 ( http://Foundation.citadel.edu ) or the Salvation Army ( Salvationarmyusa.org )

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Published in The Greenville News on June 5, 2010
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