Ninety- six years ago on August 2, 1923, God allowed the gift of life to
be born to my mother Catherine (Pearson) Simmons and my father
Reverend Ambrose Simmons. I was the first of seven children nurtured
by my loving mother, who I adored. In the past few months, I experienced
some medical challenges that led God to call me home. I was reluctant to
leave my love ones, however, I must tell you it was time for me to rest in
my savior's arms. On Thursday morning, October 31,2019 I transitioned
to my final resting place to be with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I was born in Summerton, South Carolina in Clarendon County where I
attended public school. As a young teen, I worked with my father on our
family farm. The days were long and sometimes hard but I know working
with my father taught me life lessons that helped me throughout my entire
life. As a youth, I enjoyed spending time with my family, especially my
cousins Jessie and Ferdinand. We loved playing baseball; perhaps that's
why it has always been my favorite sport.
When I was 29 years old I married the love of my life Bertha (Simon).
We met in our hometown of Sumter, SC and a few years later in 1952 we
got married in Baltimore, Maryland. Moving north afforded me the
opportunity to get a job at Bethlehem Steel Company in Sparrows Point,
Maryland. I worked at the steel mill as a Pitman for 34 years before retiring
in 1986. Bethlehem Steel was one of the only employers in my time to
employ and pay black men a decent wage in the 1950's. There were
definitely challenges at work that many of us faced during my time, like
not having the same amenities or advancement opportunities as our white
co-workers. One of my proudest moments was being a shop steward and
petitioning the company to build a break room shed on behalf of my fellow
black co-workers. Honestly, I did not think it would happen but to my
surprise it did. Having a space of our own made work a more pleasant
atmosphere. This brings me to another thing that makes me proud, the
friendships I established with some of the best men a man could ever have
known. Quite frankly, we all left "The Point" (that is what we called it)
at different times but we never left each other. My friends VL (Bug),
Brooks, Stubbs,Walker and Lockman just to name a few were like brothers
to me and I cherished those friendships with some them for over 50 years.
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