“This community has been so good to me and my family,” he said.
Nancy Huisman, with Hall Engineering, presented to Royal Simmons, the 2014 Cline Medal.
Simmons joins three others as Cline Medal award recipients first started in 2010. The first three recipients in order are Rob Lind, Frank Reznicek and Virginia Padovan.
“This year’s recipient, Royal Simmons, exemplifies the desire and vision to help make Appanoose County a great place to live and grow,” she said. “Which epitomizes the spirit in which the Cline Medal is awarded.”
Huisman said Simmons was one of 14 children born and raised in Darby just outside of Centerville. He served in WW II as a medic and was honorably discharged.
Simmons after discharge returned to Centerville and married his bride, Pat, in 1950. She has since passed away.
Simmons served on the Historic Preservation Commission board and was involved in several projects not only in Centerville but in Appanoose County, Huisman said.
One project in Centerville was the renovation of the Second Baptist Church first constructed in 1902 and where Simon Estes sang as a youth.
“His knowledge and expertise were essential for the restoration of the church, which is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places,” Huisman said.
In 1972 Royal and Pat opened Simmons Building Materials. Sons Mark and Steve work with Royal in the family business, Huisman said.
“Royal is an ambassador and advocate for the community, who lives up to the adage, ‘That what’s good for the community is good for everyone.’”
Royal had little to say, other than he thought there was only one Royal Simmons in the county.
Next, Faris delivered his report as the AEDC executive director.
After acknowledging several groups and individuals in the audience, Faris talked about the connectivity of today’s world and how easy it is for people to connect with others and share experiences.