Obituary of Wilson Simmons
Wilson D. “Buck” Simmons (82) of Shannon, previously of West Point, passed away on April 6th, 2020 at NMMC in Tupelo after an extended illness. Buck was born in western Clay County, MS to W. Wilson and Clara Thompson Simmons on October 16, 1937. A graduate of West Point High School (class of 1956), Buck attended Mississippi State University where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. During the Viet Nam conflict.,at the age of 22, Buck enlisted in the Army. While stationed for two years in Turkey, he worked in intelligence decoding messages and serving as an analyst having been selected as such by the NSA. After being discharged from the service, Buck returned to West Point where he resumed working for his father, as he had since the age of 12, at the family’s fishing pole business, known today as BnM Pole Company. In 1976, Buck married Judy Ball (of Columbia), and together, they reared two daughters, Barker and Aubre. After his father “Mr. Will” retired, Buck became president and co-owner of BnM where he is credited with revolutionizing the crappie fishing industry by introducing around 1990 a line of graphite jig poles. Buck loved his work and was recognized in recent years by the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail for his lifetime achievement in the field. As one who celebrated all things Mississippi State, Buck was a longtime member of the Bulldog Club, and he generously supported MSU athletics, being particularly fond of the men’s and women’s basketball programs. Upon Buck’s retirement, Judy and he chose to move to Shannon, leaving their previous waterfront home on the Tenn-Tom, to be closer to their grandchildren. Buck was an animal lover; Judy and he raised a plethora of animals on their small farm. Of all their animals, Buck was most enamored with his three West Highland Terriers. He loved his family and was delighted to spend time with his grandchildren. His quick wit, fabulous sense of humor, and infectious laugh led him to make an impression on everyone with whom he interacted. Buck is survived by his wife of 44 years, Judy; his daughters and sons in law, Aubre (Jordan) and Jack Wells (of Tupelo) and Barker (Jordan) and Phillip Poe (of Shannon); and his 5 grandchildren: Hunter Poe, Ivy Wells, Lucy Caroline Wells, Jenkins Wells, and Witt Wells. Buck will be buried next to his parents at Palestine Cemetery near the Cedar Bluff Community. At a later date, a proper memorial will be held for friends and family to celebrate his full life. His family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials to be made to the West Point Animal Shelter, the Sally Kate Winters Children’s Home, or the charity of one’s choice.
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