Douglas Edward Simmons (May 29, 1944-March 8, 2018)
Douglas “Doc” Simmons passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 8.
Doug was born to Ressie and Ray Simmons in Pickens, South Carolina, and was raised in Easley. After graduating salutatorian of his high school class, he went on to attend Duke University on full scholarship, studying Pre-Medicine and then Chemistry. Due to attend the 1968 Olympic Trials for fencing, Doc, always one to put family first, instead enlisted in the United States Navy so that his little brother Tony would not have to serve in the Vietnam War alone. It was his love of coffee in the Navy that earned him the nickname “Doc” (Drinker of Coffee).
Doug served for 7 years in the Navy, primarily on the nuclear cruiser USS Truxtun DLGN35, which marked the start of his career in nuclear energy. In the service he earned the Vietnam Campaign medal and the National Defense Ribbon. After his service, he earned a degree in Computer Engineering from Clemson University. From there he began a 37-year career with Duke Energy, where he worked with Instrumentation and Electrical crews (I&E), oversaw the planning and engineering staff, and was instrumental in developing and implementing a large-scale work- management system.
Doc was a gentle, kind, and loving person, fond of books, and with a warm laugh always at the ready. He was also known for his ability to fix almost anything. After meeting his wife Susan during his years in the service and completing his degree at Clemson, he eventually settled in Lincolnton, North Carolina, where he designed and built “Susandale,” the family homestead, for his bride. A lover of nature, animals, and birds (especially his beloved pets), Doug spent countless hours outdoors carefully maintaining Susandale’s seven acres – vegetable and flower gardens along with his enormous blueberry bushes – bringing the warm smell of the woods surrounding the home back into the house with him. Also devoted to music, Doug played the bass clarinet in high school and, on occasion, organ for St. Dorothy’s Parish in Lincolnton. He passed this talent on to his children Erin and Andrew, who both became musicians. Doug was a supporter of ChildFund, WDAV, and the Audubon Society.
Doug is survived by his wife of 46 years, Susan; brother Tony (Frankie) Simmons; son Andrew (Leslie) Simmons; daughter Erin (Stefan) Asbury, and a grandson, Liam Edward Asbury. His parents, Ressie and Ray Simmons and his beloved dog, Hannah, predeceased him. Memorial donations can be made to ChildFund or the Easley (SC) High School Band Boosters in his name. A memorial for Doug will be on Saturday, April 7 at 2pm at St. Peter by the Lake in Denver, NC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter by the Lake.
The Good Samaritan Funeral Home in Denver is serving the Simmons Family