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Released September 14, 2005


Hattiesburg– Henry Simmons, a retired University of Southern Mississippi librarian for McCain Library’s Mississippiana Collection, died Aug. 27 at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. He was 60.

Moore Funeral Home of Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements. An announcement for a date and time of services for Simmons is pending.

A native of Centerville, Simmons was a graduate of Southern Miss, receiving his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the university. He served as a volunteer for the Hattiesburg Zoo.

Simmons’ co-workers remember him as a popular figure among library patrons and staff alike.

“Henry always wore a smile,” said Kay Wall, Southern Miss’ university librarian. “His pleasant nature and strong service mindset were evident in his reputation for ‘going the extra mile’ to help meet the needs of those who walked into McCain Library and Archives, and he was a storehouse of information himself on Mississippi history, politics, and people.”

“One of the best things I remember about Henry is that he treated everyone equally,” said Yvonne Arnold, Southern Miss’ archives specialist. “Anyone who patronized the McCain Library Reading Room was welcomed and treated as an honored guest. It’s a tradition he set, and one we continue to follow.”

Survivors include three brothers, Harper Simmons of Gloster; Robert Simmons of Natchez; and Roger Simmons of Liberty; three sisters, including Frances White of Lake Elsinor, Ca.; Alcie Pearson of Union; and Emma Box of Centerville. Simmons was preceded in death by his parents, Morie Bearfoot Simmons and Dorris Henley Simmons, and a sister, Barbara Pearson.


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October 14, 2005 3:31 PM