Samuel Simms Sr.

WEST PEORIA - Samuel R. "Sam" Simms Sr., 90, of West Peoria passed away at 2:25 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at UnityPoint Health-Proctor in Peoria.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014, at Clary Funeral Home, 3004 W. Lake Ave., Peoria, with the Rev. Dean Grabill officiating. Interment will be in Fondulac Cemetery in East Peoria at a later date.

Sam was born on March 2, 1924, in Creve Coeur, the son of Robert and Eliza (Rothwell) Simms. They preceded him in death, along with three sisters, Ann Sisk, Alice Salter and Jane White; and his son-in-law, Tom Yentes. He married Helen L. Wilson on Jan. 7, 1950, in Peoria. She survives.

He is also survived by his son, Samuel R. Simms Jr. (Jennifer) of Iola, Wis.; daughters, Nancy Simms of Sun City, Ariz., and Kathy Yentes of West Peoria; granddaughters, Christy Martin (Rob) of Germantown Hills and Hope (Brian) Enslow) of McHenry; great-granddaughters, Hillary, Hayleigh and Hannah Enslow; and great-grandsons, Mike and Jake Martin.

Sam graduated from East Peoria High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on Nov. 3, 1942, in Peoria. He was top turret gunner on B-17 aircraft, serving in the Central Europe Air Offensive. He was honorably discharged as a technical sergeant on Aug. 29, 1945, at Fort Sheridan, earning the Air Medal, four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with two Bronze Stars.

He retired, after 50 years of service, with E.M. Smith Co. in Peoria, last working as a sales representative. After his retirement, he was employed with the Peoria Park District at Donovan and Newman Golf Courses.

Sam was a member of the Frank D. Nichol Masonic Lodge 1170, AF&AM, in Creve Coeur; Scottish Rite Valley of Peoria Consistory, Mohammed Temple Shrine; and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 20 in Peoria.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Illinois Elks Children Care Corporation, Shriners Hospitals of Children or the Scottish Rite Valley of Peoria Consistory.

Sam's memorial website and online condolences may be accessed at

Funeral Home

Clary Funeral Home
3004 West Lake Avenue Peoria, IL 61614

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Mar. 20, 2014