Willie Olan Simmons, 84, owned casket company

August 19, 2005

Willie Olan Simmons, a retired casket company owner and cemetery manager, died of heart failure Aug. 12 at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 84.

Mr. Simmons was born in Lockwood Folly, N.C., and raised in Wilmington, N.C. After serving in the Army in the late 1940s, he moved to Baltimore and became a plasterer and cement finisher. He retired in 1972.

He managed Mount Auburn Cemetery in the city's Westport neighborhood for nearly a decade before establishing A Line Casket Co. in the 1800 block of N. Longwood St. in the early 1980s. He retired in 2002 and sold the company in 2004.

Mr. Simmons enjoyed traveling and playing pinochle and poker.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Howell Funeral Home, 4600 Liberty Heights Ave.

His wife of 54 years, the former Elizabeth Foster, died in 2002.

Mr. Simmons is survived by a sister, Della Wellens of Stone Mountain, Ga.; an uncle; and several nieces and nephews.

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