Philip Simmons
1912 - 2009
Renowned SC blacksmith dies at 97

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A renowned South Carolina blacksmith who created hundreds of ornamental iron gates and fences in more than half a century at the forge has died.

Harleston-Boags Funeral Home director Gippon Boags said that Philip Simmons of Charleston died in his sleep Monday night at age 97.

Simmons started work as a blacksmith as a young man and created more than 500 pieces. His work can be seen throughout Charleston, at the Smithsonian and internationally.

Simmons received several awards, including the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award.

The funeral will be Saturday at St. John's Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Published by The State from Jun. 23 to Jun. 24, 2009.
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34 Entries
love you Uncle Philip
Lauval Simmons
March 9, 2016
love you Uncle Philip
Lauval simmons
March 9, 2016
For many years, I was involved with Historic Columbia and for many more I have attended the Jubilee Festival at the Mann Simons Cottage. Several years ago, I had the privelege to meet Mr. Simmons, speak with him and listen to him narrate as I viewed his slide show in the basement of the cottage. He was about to give the presentation and so far, I was the only person who had arrived to see it. I told him to sit tight and I would "get him up a crowd". Just so happened that as soon as I opened the door to go outside, a group of tourist were coming down the back steps, and as if it was part of their tour, I simple re-opened the door and ushered them inside. They simple complied and sat down for the presentation. He looked at me and said, "You are real good...and fast too". My reply was, "No Mr. Simmons, you are the one who is real good". I felt honored to have met him and to have had the opportunity to spend some time talking to him and his family after the show. What a lovely family! God bless you as you cherish your memories of this talented, delightful gentleman and artist!
Chrystal Danker
June 26, 2009
Mr. Simmons' work was one of our great cultural treasures here in South Carolina.
June 25, 2009
What a blessing Mr. Simmons was. To live to see 97 is an awesome gift from God. Tracy you and your family are in my thoughts.

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Annette Dunmeyer
June 25, 2009
I have nothing but fond memories of the moments I shared with Mr. Simmons on the telephone as well as spending time with him at his home in Charleston in 2005. What a "character" my daughter and I encountered during our 2 hour period with him. He had so many charming characteristics, and was very outspoken about many other topics that were not art related. It was quite a pleasure to have a moment to know the artist and the man. I, a fellow artist, was grateful to have the opportunity to meet a celebrated artist, and a man who also had a quite a distinct personality. Quite memorable it all is now, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to speak to him via telephone in 2008. To his daughter, whom he spoke so fondly of all the time; you have my deepest condolences. I was notified by his foundation a few months ago when I called to speak to him that he had desired to go to a resthome, and did not talk anymore on the phone, but he was quite content there. I have noticed that his spirit lives on, by the comments in the many other entries, and even though I only met him a few years ago, I am so much a better person for the encounter. Mr. Simmons, may your joie de vivre accompany you in death as it did in life.
Lyda Weston
June 24, 2009
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Thomas E. & Ollia M. Clinton
June 24, 2009
I remember taking pictures of Mr. Phillip and my wife on his couch during a visit to marvel at his works. He will be surely missed by everyone who came in contact with him. He was such a remarkable man.
Richard & Cindy Patterson
June 24, 2009
I just moved away from Charleston. I have a necklace with a detail from the gate at First Scot Presbyterian Church, and can't even express how comforting it is whenever I miss my home. Thank you.
Shannon Fisher
June 24, 2009
Didn't know this gentleman but what a beautiful gift he must have had to give to others. Wish I had known him and could see some of his work. Rest in Peace and God bless his family.
Janice Harding
June 24, 2009
Thank you, Phillip, for who you are and for what you left behind for generations to marvel at!
Todd Brandon
June 24, 2009
I have been familiar with Mr. Simmons' work for some time. It will remain as a legacy of his life and character. My heartfelt sympathy goes to all of his loved ones.
Judy Mims
June 24, 2009
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all leave behind such a legacy - one of beauty, humility and friendship. I won't be the least bit surprised if heaven has beautiful new gates soon. Rest in peace, Mr. Simmons.
John McDermott
June 24, 2009
Greetings! Mr. Simmons work of GOD speaks for him. May GOD continue to bless you all.

Pat Bethea, Anderson,SC
June 24, 2009
I had the awesome pleasure of meeting and interviewing Mr. Simmons for my college senior art show project. He was kind, sweet, gentile and very, very sharp. Charleston, the state of South Carolina and the Nation will miss this wonderful and gifted artist deeply.
Aldrena Corder
June 24, 2009
I met Mr. Simmons briefly many years ago. He was such a lovely gentleman and wonderfully talented. This remarkable man will be sorely missed.
Laura Harris Moore
June 24, 2009
Mr. Simmons gave expression to the noblest aspirations of humanity, in his art and in his life. My children will hear his story and know his example.
Stephen Byrd
June 24, 2009
Never met Mrs. Simmons. Your loved one was a remarkable person God sent to minister to others through his artistic work. Bless all of you and the work he left for us to admire and appreciate.
Janie Hunter
June 24, 2009
We visited Mr. Simmons workplace while on the Gullah Tour of Charleston. His contributions to the City of Charleston are remarkable. God Bless.
Evelyn Kelly
June 24, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
jeff hartman
June 24, 2009
A true Southern gentleman. I will remember Philip Simmons fondly as I see his works around town. My thoughts and prayers are with the Simmons family.
Rachael Renken
June 24, 2009
This is a huge lost for Charleston. He made the city rich. Mr. Simmons work will stand as a testament to a great man for generations to come. He will be greatly missed.
Rev. Ragen Mitchell
June 24, 2009
During a mid April Charleston Strolls Walking Tour, it was noted by the guide that we were passing many of the works of Philip Simmons. How close we must have come to a giant in his field. Could it be that many of his works will develope a new patina as we pass them again and again giving them a gentle rub of love? He is welcomed for certain in a special room in heaven.
Carolene Perry
June 24, 2009
Having met Mr. Simmons at some SC Art Education conferences, I was honored to be in the presence of a genuine gentleman. My condolences to his loved ones. His legacy will continue as young artists in classrooms around the state will learn about his art.
Carol Robertson
June 23, 2009
I first recognized Mr. Simmons through an ETV special. Immediately I contacted several family members and watched the show in awe. Mr. Simmons is a treasure that God blessed us with that is truly one of a kind. It only saddens me that I nor my children ever made the opportunity to meet him.
Brian Fulmore
June 23, 2009
The Legacy of Mr. Simmons will live forever... His name is one that I remember as a child when visiting Charleston and walking through the streets of Charleston...

God Speed, Mr. Simmons...
Stephen Darnell
June 23, 2009
I expect that if I get to the Pearly Gates, I'll see them adorned with iron egrets and lace lovingly forged by Philip Simmons. Then, I'll feel like I'm home. Long live the spirit and genius of the truly great Philip Simmons.
Karl Rohr
June 23, 2009
We thank God for allowing us to have been blessed by the life, works and help that Mr. Philip Simmons gave. What blessed peace knowing that we shall meet one day on the other shore. For to live is Christ and to die is to gain.
D.T. Coleman
June 23, 2009
My husband and I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Simmons at the Burroughs-Chapin Art Gallery in Myrtle Beach in 2006. He had a twinkle in his eye as though he knew a great secret, and we came away smiling after our encounter with him. May God bless and comfort you in your loss.
Pat & Stan DuBose, Sumter SC
Pat DuBose
June 23, 2009
Mr. Simmons was a man of great humility and strength. May the peace of God be with you during this time of sorrow. TB
T Bole
June 23, 2009
Our prayers are with you. It was a pleasure to have met Mr.Simmons on our visit to Charleston SC.

Mr.& Mrs Ronald Jefferson
Connie Jefferson
June 23, 2009
A great Legacy!
Mark, Pamela, Ariel & Alleah Glover
June 23, 2009
I had the opportunity to tour the place where the famous Ironworks were made. I was very proud of the accomplishments of Mr. Simmons. It is my understanding that he was a very generous person and helped many people. I share your loss. God bless each of you. Earnestine Williams of 129 Folk Road, Blythewood, SC 29016.
June 23, 2009
My prayers are with you. He was a wonderful and caring man. His iron work will remind us of his presencel Willie Starling
June 23, 2009
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