Mr. Kenneth Wayne Simonds, age 87, died at his home in East Ridge, Tennessee, April 8, 2014.
On February 27, 1927 in Polk County, Tennessee, Kenneth Wayne Simonds was the fifth of nine children born of the late Mr. John Robert Simonds and Mrs. Ora Estella Long Simonds.
A veteran of World War II, he volunteered for the Eleventh Airborne’s 187th Regimental Combat Team and would serve as a paratrooper stationed in Sendai, Japan. After the war, he continued in the U. S. Army reserves for seven years.
Kenneth graduated as a machinist from North Georgia Technical and Vocational School, and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in both biology and English literature from East Tennessee State University. He received a master’s degree from the University of Georgia in school administration and counseling. He did post-graduate study in biology at the University of Virginia, with research in fresh water studies; discovering 14 new species of animals commensal with crayfish in the Hiawassee River Drainage System alone.
His 33-year career as an educator was equally divided, devoting eleven years each to classroom teaching, high school counseling and administration. Kenneth was twice chosen as Star Teacher, and was honored with the dedication of the 1961 West Fannin High School yearbook. He retired as a school principal with the Fannin County Board of Education.
Throughout his adult life, he was active in the Lord’s work, serving as a deacon, choir member and Sunday school teacher. Since moving to Chattanooga, he has been a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon and was an officer in the church’s senior adult fellowship.
In recent years, Kenneth researched and published a comprehensive genealogy of the Simonds-Long ancestry, dating back to the York District of South Carolina in 1717. He also published his memoir, Memories-Reflections-Convictions, detailing the accounts of his life and including a number of personal poems and essays.
Kenneth is predeceased by his wife of 38 years, Effie Heatherly Simonds; and his siblings: Claude, Lloyd, Ray, Hazel, Shirley and Bobby.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Elizabeth Hudson Simonds; his son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Beth Simonds; his grandchildren, Krista Simonds Newton and Matthew, and Jena Simonds; great-grandsons, Micah, Jonah and Noah Newton; his brother and sister-in-law, Lewis and Liz Simonds; his sister and brother-in-law, Peggy and William Lewis; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is also survived by his wife Elizabeth’s daughters and sons-in-law, Donna Hudson Moss and Bob, Mary Hudson Hawkins and Mike; grandchildren, Ronald Raulston and Megan, Steve and Kristina Hawkins, and Jeff Hawkins; great-grandchildren, Will, Ben and Kate Raulston, and Dillon and Breanna Hawkins.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 12, at 12:00 noon from the Chapel of the Akins Funeral Home, with Dr. Tom Jordan officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 10:00-12:00. Kenneth will be laid to rest at the Epworth First Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Epworth, with funds specified for either the Cemetery Fund or the debt retirement for the Morganton Baptist Associational Office at P.O. Box 187 Epworth, GA 30541. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.akinsfuneralhome.com. Akins Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA is in charge of the arrangements.