The province has lost an astute businessman, proud churchgoer and a man one described as a pioneer in agriculture on the province’s west coast.
R.W. (Scott) Simmons died May 20. He was 85 years old.
Simmons was born in Lewisporte and grew up in Bishop’s Falls.
He moved to Corner Brook in 1954 and began working for The Western Star. He retired as assistant general manager in 1969 having spent 15 years with the newspaper.
Simmons then worked as marketing manager with Atlantic Design Homes (Lundrigans Ltd.) before becoming an entrepreneur. He owned numerous businesses including Scosim Driving School, Humber Esso, many construction initiatives and the family farms, Hammond Farm and Scosim Farms.
Bruce Simmons describes his father as a man who embraced life.
“Dad was full of energy and full of life," he said. "He loved trying new things... he got his motorcycle license when he was 65. He learned how to ski when he was in his 60s. People liked Dad, they worked hard for him. He was fun to be around."
Simmons was active on the Newfoundland Egg Marketing Board, the Newfoundland Chicken Marketing Board, the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency and the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency.
In 1997, the Little Rapids man was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.
In leaving a message of condolence on the funeral home’s website, Rosalind Pound described Simmons as a "gentleman throughout.”
“I remember when I first met Scott and will never forget his kindness and thoughtfulness. He was a pioneer in agriculture on the west coast,” Pound wrote.
As a member of the Salvation Army (Simmons was also active in the Army’s band for many years), Simmons stepped up to serve his fellowmen, both in this province and other parts of the world. As a layperson for the Salvation Army, he helped with the cleanup in New York City after the 9-11 attacks.
Roy Brown had been friends with Simmons for decades. His friend was both energetic and enterprising, he said.
“He was a good businessman, a good churchman, a man of strong ethics,” Brown said.
Bern Pollett and Simmons were also friends for decades.
“Scott had a large personality," he said. "He was very outgoing, very friendly. He just loved people,” Pollett said.
In giving back to his community, Simmons was often on the lookout for a worthy cause.
Pollett recalled a time when Simmons picked up a hitch-hicker on his way from Corner Brook to St. John’s.
Simmons found out that the man had recently moved back to Newfoundland from another province with his wife and children. It was close to Christmas. The man was unemployed.
Simmons checked out the stranger’s story. He found out the ages of the man’s children.
During another trip to St. John’s, Pollett said, Simmons bought toys, food, clothes and everything else the family would need for a happy holiday season.
“On the way back (to his own home) he dropped into (the man’s home) and he gave them, I guess, a Christmas like one they’d never had,” Pollett said.
Simmons leaves to mourn his wife of 63 years, Ruby Estella Simmons (nee Legge), the couple’s five children (Bruce, June, Keith, Bonnie, Wayne) 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren as well as numerous other relatives and friends.
Funeral service will be held at the Salvation Army Temple, O’Connell Drive, Corner Brook today at 2 p.m.