Melba Simmons

June 16, 1937 ~ December 2, 2020 (age 83)

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SHANNON – Melba Simmons began her life on June 16, 1937 as Melba Ruth Kelly, the daughter of James Floyd Kelly and Estelle Chapman Kelly.  She ended her earthly pilgrimage on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from the Hospice Unit of North Miss. Medical Center after 83 beautiful years. Melba graduated from Sherman High School in 1955 as valedictorian of her class. She married Earl Simmons in 1956 and to this union was born three daughters and a son. Earl was in the trucking business, hauling primarily sand, gravel and asphalt. Melba was his trusted business associate, bookkeeper and dispatcher. A skilled homemaker, Melba was known for her beautiful yard, the growing of vegetables and flowers of all kinds, and her splendid culinary skills in serving up delicious meals from the produce she grew herself, sharing them with family and friends. She loved canning, especially making homemade jellies. Her family was her paramount interest. She was a doting mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She inherited her mother’s sewing skills and was a master seamstress making the children’s clothes carefully coordinating colors and designs to make them look their best, including pageant dresses. Melba enjoyed music, singing gospel music in her earlier life on live radio and always enjoying southern gospel music. She was a longtime faithful member of Doty Chapel Baptist Church where she sang in the choir many years, often singing solos. She loved Atlanta Braves baseball, NASCAR especially Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Days of Our Lives and the TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Creative, dedicated and loyal describe this beautiful “daughter of the South.”

A  service celebrating her life will be held at 1 PM Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Mike Smithey officiating. Private burial will follow at Doty Chapel Cemetery east of Shannon. Visitation will be from 11 am-service time Saturday only at Holland Funeral Directors, who is honored to serve the family. For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at 1 PM Saturday at

Melba is survived by her daughters, Angie Sheffield (Mike), Vickie Beard (Jimmy Dean), Karla Kosar (John) and Tim Simmons (Jenny); 10 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren; her sister, Sherry Hicks, and her brother, David Kelly; several nieces, nephews, and special friends, Lois Owens, Frances Gullett, and Tom “Punie” Lyle.

Memorials may be made to  St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital,  252 Danny Thomas Way, Memphis, TN 38105, or LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, 848 Adams Avenue, Memphis, TN. 38103.

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