Ernest Ray Simmons, 63, of Catlin, passed away on September 2, 2021, at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville. He was born on May 5, 1958, in Woodbury, Tennessee, to Howard Houston Simmons and Joan Richardson VanMatre. They preceded Ernie in death.
Ernie leaves behind two sisters, Cheryl Simmons of Murfreesboro, TN & Debbie (Thomas Parker) Caudill of Murfreesboro, TN; his brother, Mario Simmons of Kaysville, Utah; his Uncle Roy Simmons of Dana, IN; his Aunt Frances Uselton of Rockvale, TN; his many nieces and nephews, Cindy Varner, Charlie Varner, Donovan (Serina) Lack, Darcy Lack, Matt (Marty) Simmons, KC Simmons, Mitchell Simmons, Kyle (Allie) Simmons, and Samantha (Tyler) Tait; and 15 great nieces and great nephews; as well as many cousins that he loved very much.
Ernie attended Danville High School. He joined the US Army in 1983. He spent one term serving in Maryland as a weapons mechanic. After leaving the military, he returned to the Danville area and worked at the Homer Grain Elevator then later working for McLane Distributions.
Ernie had many interests and hobbies. In his younger years, he enjoyed woodworking, making many pieces of furniture for family members. He was also a great billiards player, spending many evenings at Lincoln Lanes shooting pool with Charlie, Craig Riggen, and Roger Smith. He spent many years camping at the Vermilion County Fishing Club and the Fairmount Quarry with Charlie and his sister, Debbie. It was here that he would take great nephews, Quentin, Cody and Devin fishing and just enjoyed family time around the campfires, just a simple life. In the most recent years, Ernie became an avid race fan, spending many Saturday nights at the Charleston Race Track with his Uncle Roy and Cousin Sandy Peters.
Ernie received the most enjoyment from spending time with all his family and friends. He always looked forward to his brother and sisters coming for visits from Utah and Tennessee as well as family dinners, and our yearly family vacations. We must add that Christmas was his favorite time of the year. Ernie was such a giving man, giving his time and love.
Ernie admired the American Eagle and what it represents. Its representation of Freedom, Strength, Courage, and Patriotism. Its your time to fly high, Ernie, and soar above the clouds, watching over your loved ones you sadly left behind.
It is with great sadness that Ernie left us so unexpectedly due to Covid Pneumonia.
A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held at 10:00am, Friday, September 17, 2021, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Westville, Illinois 414 S State St. Westville, Illinois 61883 with Pastor James Blue officiating. Visitation will be 2:00pm to 7:00pm, Thursday, September 16, 2021 at the funeral home. He will be laid to rest Sunset Memorial Park, Danville. Please join his family in sharing memories through his Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
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