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Dr. Paul D. Simmons


1936 - 2019
Dr.  Paul D. Simmons Obituary
Dr. Paul D. Simmons

Louisville - Dr. Paul D Simmons, Louisville, Ky passed away March 17th surrounded by his adoring family. He was 82. He was preceded in death by his parents Dewey and LaVerne Simmons, his brother David Simmons, and son Brian. He is survived by his wife Betty, son Brent (Connie), and daughter Catherine (Miguel).

Paul was born July 18th 1936 in Troy, Tennessee. He graduated Valedictorian of Dixie High School; earned a BA in Psychology and English from Union College; received his Th.M. (Master of Theology) and M.Div. (Master of Divinity) at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest North Carolina (where he met his future wife Betty Kinlaw);earned his PhD in Christian Ethics (1969) at Southern Seminary in Louisville, (where he taught for 23 years, including two sabbatical years in New Jersey at Princeton Theological Seminary, and in England at the University in Cambridge). After resigning from Southern Seminary, he founded the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, served on the Council on Peacemaking and Religion, the Advisory Board for the Religious Council on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics and as President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, both in Washington DC. He was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Philosophy at U of L, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary; and taught 20 years as Clinical Professor of Family & Geriatric Medicine at U of L, including 1 year at the UL Dentistry, retiring at 80.

Paul's life's work centered on many important social issues he was passionate about involving Christian & Medical ethics, intellectual and academic freedom of religion, human rights, social justice, and helping those in need. He bravely took on some of the toughest and most controversial social issues including abortion, euthanasia, gay rights, genetic engineering. He brought a deep knowledge of science and relevant religious perspectives. His books included Faith and Health: Religion, Science, and Health Care Decisions, Freedom of Conscience: Baptist-Humanist Dialogue, and Birth and Death: Bioethical Decision Making. In addition, he wrote numerous scholarly articles for various religious, medical, and scientific magazines and journals. He volunteered for Clarence Jordan's Koinonia farms in Georgia (where the concept of Habitat for Humanity was born). He also supported Partners in Development, a Project in South Africa that build water wells, provides education and medical assistance in remote villages.. His Heroes included Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Merton, and his beloved colleague Henlee Barnett.

Paul was a sports enthusiast. He was captain of his high school basketball team, enjoyed playing baseball, tennis, and golf, and even let his kids goad him into trying ice skating and skiing. Paul cherished his family and loved taking them on trips to grandparents, picnics at the lake, and throughout the US & Europe. He loved his children immensely, encouraging each in their unique abilities and interests.

Paul was a source of inspiration and illumination in many people's lives and will be missed enormously.

Funeral Service will be 11 AM Monday at Broadway Baptist Church (4000 Brownsboro Road, 40207) with burial to follow in Cave Hill Cemetery. Visitation 2-6 PM Sunday at Pearson 's (149 Breckenridge Lane, 40207) and Monday 10 - 10:45 AM at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Broadway Baptist Church, Partners in Development (water wells in Africa), the , or the .
Published in The Courier-Journal on Mar. 22, 2019
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