02/04/09 — ROBERT I. SIMKINS

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Jan. 5, 1916-Feb. 2, 2009

Robert Ivey Simkins, 93, of Gainesville, Fla. died Monday at his daughter's home surrounded by family.

A memorial service with full military honors will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Melrose, Fla. with the Rev. Jeffrey A. Mack, Vicar officiating. He will be interred at the Memory Garden, Trinity Episcopal Churchyard, directly after the service.

Mr. Simkins was born in Goldsboro on Jan. 5, 1916, to Edgar A. and Alice Ivey Simkins. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1939 with a master's degree in civil engineering. He then took a position with the ACL Railroad in Wilmington and practiced his profession with that company and its successor, SCL Railroad, for 42 years, retiring in 1981 as engineer of bridges.

In February 1941, Mr. Simkins enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps as a flying cadet and served throughout World War II as a C-47 pilot, flight instructor and squadron commander in three major theatres. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1976 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Simkins was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Melrose, Fla. He held other memberships as well, including the Air Force Association, Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the American Railway Engineering Association, where he served on the Steel Bridge Committee for 46 years.

Mr. Simkins was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Oliver Simkins of Wilmington.

He is survived by two daughters, Virginia Taylor Stegall and Alice Ivey Simkins, both of Gainesville, Fla.; a stepdaughter, Wendy Oliver Tinga of Mountain View, Hawaii; two sons-in-law, Griffin Stegall and Billy Fritzius both of Gainesville, Fla.; three grandchildren, Randall Ivey Taunton, Carah Madison Ashley and Benjamin Griffin Stegall, all of Gainesville, Fla.; a stepgranddaughter, Selena Tinga of Ithaca, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.

He loved his family and friends very much.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 361, Melrose, Fla., 32666.

Arrangements are being handled by Moring Funeral Home in Melrose, Fla.


Published in Obituaries on February 4, 2009 1:47 PM