Rev. Albert Egerton Simms

The Rev. Mr. Albert Egerton Simms, 85, a resident of Lakewood Manor, the retired founding administrator of Lakewood Manor Retirement Community, died December 29, 2003. A native of Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Simms was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert N. Simms of Raleigh and a descendant of several generations of Virginia ancestors. He was educated in the Raleigh Public Schools. Wake Forest University, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and he also completed graduate courses at VPISU and VA Baptist Hospital School of Pastoral Care. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Helen Canaday Simms of Richmond, their daughter, Mary Helen Simms Patterson and her husband, Kendall W. Patterson of Richmond; their sons, Albert F. Simms Jr. and his wife, Lois Simms of Fredericksburg, Va., and David E. Simms and his wife, Anne Simms of Radford, Va.; their eight grandchildren, Richard A. Simms of Fredericksburg, Mrs. Rebecca P. Crutcher of Richmond, Mrs. Amy S. Easterling of St. Louis, Missouri, Mrs. Martha S. Mikell of Hampton, Stephen G. Patterson of Charlotte, N.C., Mrs. Laura S. Webb of Lynchburg, Mrs. Hallie S. Holland of Jackson, Mississippi, and Margaret L. Simms of Radford, and nine great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister, Mrs. Albert L. Haskins Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., and his brothers, the Rev. Dr. Stewart B. Simms of Greer, S.C. and John M. Simms of Roanoke, Va. Mr. Simms served as pastor of several churches in North Carolina before moving to Virginia in 1946. He was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Newport News from 1946 until 1960 and of Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church in Lynchburg from 1960 to 1974. At the call of Virginia Baptist Homes, he moved to Richmond in June 1974 and, as Founding Administrator, led in the planning, construction, and management of Lakewood Manor until his retirement in 1983. Since retirement, Mr. Simms has given many hours of volunteer service to his church, to Lakewood Manor, and to the VA Baptist Historical Society. In 1960 Mr. Simms was President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He served as a member and chairman of many of that statewide convention's major committees. For six years he was a member of the VA Baptist General Board and for 11 years he was a Trustee of VA Baptist Homes. He served as Moderator of three district Baptist Associations, Lynchburg, Strawberry, and Peninsula. He served the Southern Baptist Convention as a member of its Executive Committee from 1964 to 1970 and as a Trustee of the Home Mission Board from 1984 to 1992. Since 1974 Mr. Simms has been a member of Derbyshire Baptist Church where he has served as a Sunday School teacher, and as a member of various committees and of the Sanctuary and the Golden Tones Choirs. He was an Honorary Life member of the VA Association of Non-Profit Homes for Aging and a member since 1940 of Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Fraternity. The family will receive friends 2 to 4 p.m, Thursday at the Parham Chapel, Woody Funeral Home, 1771 Parham Road. Graveside services will be held 1 p.m. Friday at Westhampton Memorial Park with memorial services following at 2 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Derbyshire Baptist Church, 8800 Derbyshire Road. Memorial gifts may be made to the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, P.O. Box 9157, Richmond, Va., 23227, and to the VA Baptist Historical Society at P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, Va., 23173 and to the Lakewood Manor Benevolent Fund, 1900 Lauderdale Drive, and to Derbyshire Baptist Church, 8800 Derbyshire Road, Richmond, Va., 23228.

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 12/31/2003 - 1/1/2004.
Published in the Daily Press on 1/1/2004.

Dear Ken and Mary Helen and Family,
We have shared and hugged with one another....but what a blessing to us to be able to see your father through others eyes. Knowing his daughter, and her loving husband of faith, has been our privilege for so many years. We remember your parents visiting when we were neighbors in Wiltshire...your father was a "giant" of a man, not merely in statue, but in FAITH.
And dearest friends, as you embrace the legacy of your father's faith, and continue to walk with the Lord, you need look no further...for your father's faith and heart surround you, and your mother, and all your family as you walk with the Lord here on earth.
Dick & Jeddy Normansell (West Chester, PA ) - January 8, 2004
Mary Helen & Ken,
I just heard about your father, Mary Helen. I will be praying for you and your family. Take care and remember I am here for you! Your friend in Christ, Debbie
Debbie Longacre (Landenberg, PA ) - January 7, 2004
As a co-worker of son, Al, I have recognized what a good father Albert must have been. Integrity, compassion, and hard work seem to be qualities shared by both father and son.
Jim Rogan (Springfield, VA ) - January 5, 2004
Dear Mrs. Simms, Al, Helen, and David,
I am saddened to learn of Mr. Simms passing. He was a giant among men in so many ways. His positive influence on Calvary Church and her members is a tribute to his ministry legacy. I continue to thank God for the privilege of knowing and being touched by someone like Rev. Simms.
Our prayers are with each of you during this time of loss and grief.
Eddie Heath (Yorktown, VA ) - January 1, 2004
Dear Mrs. Simms,
Calvary Baptist Church was truly blessed when Rev. Simms came there to minister. He married me and my husband, Jack, 9-10-55. We all truly loved to hear Rev. Simms sing. You were blessed with such a loving family. Our sympathy goes out to each of you. Until we all meet again in that place where there is no sunset and no dawning.
Love, Jack & Jane London and Alberta Price
Jane Price London (Hampton, VA ) - January 1, 2004
I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your husband, but pleased that I was able to meet him a few years ago.
His obituary shows what a good and productive life he had and the rich legacy that he leaves behind.
My thoughts are with all of you.
Joseph Weaver (Graniteville, SC ) - January 1, 2004
Dear Helen and Family,
I was saddened to learn of Albert's death, but inspired by my conversation with you yesterday in which you alluded to all you have remaining to accomplish.  After my father's death, Albert was among the first to help me recognize not just the value of Dad's life, but also the legacy of his passing. You have both gone out of your way to include my family in in spite of the miles that separate us. For this, and the encouraging conversations and correspondence, we are grateful. I am unable to attend services on Friday, but my prayers and those of my family are with you.
Bill and Cindy
Bill Simms (Pensacola, FL ) - January 1, 2004
Stewart B. Simms (Greer, SC ) - December 31, 2003
Helen, I wish we could be with you in person. Love to you and all family members.
Mary Ann C. Simms (Greer, SC ) - December 31, 2003
Mary Helen and Ken and Family,
We are continuing to keep you in our prayers during this time of grief and special memories...we sorrow, but not without HOPE.
Lovingly, Rusts
David and Linda Rust (Hockessin, DE ) - December 31, 2003
Dear Helen and family,
Albert was the most gentle of the true gentlemen, a man who truly lived what he believed, who absolutely practiced what he preached. What a treat to have known him for all my life and to have enjoyed him in so many ways - as a child when he would play with me like a gentle giant, as an adult, most recently when he and Helen welcomed my dear husband Andy into our family and with patience and love explained to him the workings of the church and our family. Like Jesus, he had no judgments and loved unconditionally. I shall miss him very much, as I know all of you will even more. And it is wonderful to know he is with God in heaven, and with his parents whom he loved and honored, and his beloved brothers and other dear friends. I wish I were able to be with all of you on Thursday and Friday, but the "cold" I started on Monday has developed into a full blown flu, I
think; and I wouldn't dare to breathe on you if I even felt up to the trip. Thank you so much for letting me/us know about the plans. Our hearts will be with all of you.
With much love, Ginny
Ginny Wright (Charlotte, NC ) - December 31, 2003
Dear Helen & Family
I will always remember the times growing up in Calvary Baptist Church. Rev. Simms baptized me when I was 7 years old and he has always had a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Ron Tanner (Sandston, VA ) - December 31, 2003
Dear Helen & Family,
You all are in our thoughts and prayers. How wonderful for Al that he is now with Jesus, and singing in his heavenly choir!
Sincerely, Nancy Tinsley & Marge O'Shell
Nancy Tinsley (Sandston, VA ) - December 31, 2003


Amazing Grace

 Words by John Newton  (1725-1807) (stanza 6 Anon)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

"Amazing Grace" lyrics courtesy of - 01/11/04

"Amazing Grace" midi at the suggestion of Al Simms ('60) of VA - 01/10/04
Thanks, Al!

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