Beloved Son, Brother, Uncle, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and Friend, Arrell Simmons was born on January 26, 1943, to Mack and Elizabeth Simmons in Madison, Arkansas. He was the oldest of ten, as he had 6 sisters and 3 brothers. During his younger years, he was also raised by his stepfather, George Sisk.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Nancy JoAnne; his sister, Hattie; and his daughter, Donna Renee.
Arrell was baptized at an early age at White Rock Baptist Church in Arkansas. Later in life Arrell united with New Friendship Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH, where he served on the Deacon Board and was a member of the male chorus.
He attended high school at Lincoln Sr. High in Forrest City, AK and later attended Ohio College of Applied Science. He also graduated from Barber College in Cincinnati, as he found great joy in cutting hair. Arrell retired after over 30 years of dedicated service for General Motors. During his time at GM, he held several positions and upon retirement, he was a job setter. He also served as a union steward and committee man for Local 696, committed to his vision of ‘making a difference.’
He loved sports and played semi-pro football for the Panthers. He also enjoyed working on cars. He loved gospel music and was a member of a gospel quartet with his dad. While driving to work every night with his daughter, they relaxed and connected while listening to the blues. Shooting pool was another favorite pastime, that he relished teaching and playing with his children.
He was joined in holy matrimony to Nancy JoAnne DeVine on January 28, 1967. They were blessed with six children: Martell, Donna (deceased), Stephanie, DeVonna, S. Yolanda, and Darrell.
He loved his family dearly, he was a family-first man. He spent many wonderful days loving on his grandchildren. He loved picking them up after school and spoiling them with ice cream treats and park trips. He also enjoyed reading and studying his bible. When his wife wasn’t looking, he enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Arrell never met a stranger. His heart was pure as gold.