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John Venable Simmons Sr. / September 20, 2021

John Venable “Red” Simmons Sr., 92, of South Boston, died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. He was born in Halifax on Feb. 15, 1929, son of the late John Joseph Simmons and the late Lucille Long Simmons. He was married to the late Ida Upton Puryear Simmons and was a member of First Baptist Church, where he served as a former deacon. “Red” served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and afterwards worked for the South Boston Police Department and retired as chief of police. He was a member of American Legion Post 8, Virginia Police Association and served on the Board of Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. He coached Dixie Youth for many years, and the 1969 team won the State Championship and went to Bartow, Fla., to play in the Dixie Youth World Series.

Mr. Simmons is survived by his daughter, Robbie Simmons of South Boston; one grandchild, Casey Martin and husband Dwayne of South Boston; one great-grandson, Samuel Martin of South Boston.

He was preceded in death by his son, John Venable Simmons Jr. and siblings Lawrence Cooper Simmons and Lucille Beatrice Callis.

A funeral was held Sunday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church with Rev. Susan Davis officiating. Burial followed in Halifax Memorial Gardens. The family received friends one hour prior to service at the church.

Memorials may be directed to Dixie Youth Baseball, P.O. Box 193, South Boston, VA 24592; First Baptist Church, 815 North Main Street, South Boston, VA 24592; or South Boston Police Department, 640 Hamilton Blvd., South Boston, VA 24592.

Online condolences may be directed to

Arrangements by Powell Funeral Home.

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