Clara Lou “Tommy” Lawrence Simmons was born on February 17, 1932 at 2 a.m. in Tunnel Hill to Walter Lee and Bessie Adeline (McCuan) Lawrence. She departed this life on February 6, 2017 at 2:05 a.m. at the Memorial Hospital in Carbondale. She was 84 years old.
She graduated from Vienna High School in 1949. After graduating she went to work in the Elgin Watch Factory, polishing watch crystals. She later attended Evansville Beauty College. She retired from Deaconess Hospital after 20 years as a CNA in Coronary Intensive Care and same day surgery.
After meeting on a blind date, Clara married Robert Eugene Simmons on February 16, 1957 in Goreville. They were married for 51 years. He preceded her in death on June 28, 2008. She and Bob lived in Evansville, IN. for over 50 years.
After his death Clara moved to Carterville to be close to her family. She loved spending time with her family, going shopping and out to eat and also enjoyed watching the Hallmark Channel. Clara was of the Christian Faith.
In addition to her parents and husband, Clara was preceded in death by- her brothers and sisters- Waldo Lawrence, William “Jim” Lawrence, Donald Ray Lawrence, Wilma Conroy and Jolene Crawford.
Clara is survived by- her daughter and son-in-law- Cathy and Bob Russell of Carterville; her grandchildren- Kristi Rapach of Ziegler, Jennifer Melfi of Cambria, Brian Russell of Cape Girardeau, MO and Tammy (Brandon) Rhoads of Goreville. She is also survived by the lights of her life, great grandchildren- India and Jack Rapach, Duncan and Wyatt Rhoads and Madeline Russell; along with several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be conducted on Thursday afternoon, February 9, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Dr. Glenn Webb will officiate.
Burial will be in the Webb Cemetery near Tunnel Hill.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
Memorials may be made to the Webb Cemetery c/o Phil Webb, 5140 Tunnel Hill Road, Tunnel Hill, IL 62972.
To share a memory of Clara or to send a message of condolence to her family, please visit www.baileyfh.com