Alton Simmons was born 10 August 1937 in Lamar County, Mississippi, the firstborn child and son of Woodrow Wilson Simmons and Susie Johnson. He spent most of his youthful days in the back woods of the Baxterville and Pine Burr areas. Being the oldest, Alton constantly tried to "direct" the order of childhood play with his younger siblings and nearby cousins. According to my Mom, Alton was always trying to invent ways to get her and the others into trouble. She wrote quite a bit about Alton and the days they spent growing up in rural Marion/Lamar Counties (see Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons).
Alton married Joyce Thornhill on 13 January 1955 in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi. From their union two sons were born- Alton Timothy and Joseph Leonard. Their marriage ended in divorce after 25 years together. He later married Sylvia Thompson then Darlene Elizabeth Horn, but no children were born from those unions.
Alton worked in the oilfied and timber industries most of his adult life. He also owned and operated "Fat Albert's Bait & Tackle Shop" in Foxworth, Mississippi for a few years before selling the business. He temporarily owned and operated a meat store in Columbia, Mississippi.
After a lengthy illness, Alton died 17 January 2004 at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi.
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