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On the cool fall Sunday morning of November 26, 2023, the angels came and carried Harold Russell Simkins to his heavenly home.
Harold Is the third child of Alvie Newton and Carmie Letta (Hollars) Simkins.He was born August 23rd, 1940, in a log house down by the spring, at Lampe MO.
Later Harold's parents built the house upon the top hill from the spring. Harold and his brother and sister would carry buckets of water up to the house from the spring. With no electricity and very few batteries for the radio their pastime was playing a card game that his parents had the kids play when they got old enough to recognize the cards. Harold was very good at playing pitch. He could count cards and know about what everyone had in their hand, he was not a sore loser, but he didn't lose very many times. Harold was a high energy person, when he was a child, his parents had planted 20 acres of strawberries, they planted big fields of tomatoes and tobacco. Harold worked in the fields picking strawberries he talked of pulling weeds in their strawberries and garden. He helped milk the cows he talked about going over the hill and getting the cow up to milk in the snow and his dad would come in and finish milking.
The summer before Harold’s senior year he went to work in Kansas City. He worked for two months pouring concrete. He was offered more money to go to Des Moines, Iowa to work in the concrete business.
Harold graduated from Blue Eye School in the spring of 1958. On November the 29th 1958 he married Joy Sue Dotson. Harold passed away three days before they were to celebrate their 65th anniversary. In 1977, the family moved into the house he and his wife he lovingly called “Susie” (and anyone else he could find to help) built by working nights and weekends because he worked full time construction at the time.
Harold went to work at the cheese factory in Branson, MO. Making $0.75 an hour 12-hour days six days a week. He said he could make more money in Des Moines pouring concrete, so he went back to Des Moines. The rainy season kept him out of work a lot, so he came back to Arkansas and went to work at the chicken plant in Green Forest where he worked there for about a year. He got a job working on the Beaver Dam sandblasting. He went to work at Turney Wood Products. Turney Wood Products is where Harold learned to build cabinets and furniture. Then he bought a full-service gas station, the DX station, in Alpena, AR. After he sold his gas station, he went to work at custom building homes. There he worked and they built homes and chicken houses. Meanwhile back at home he built his own milk barn on his own farm. In 1981 he bought some concrete forms and went into business for himself pouring concrete walls. It was called Simkins Concrete Construction. Harold ran his own construction business up until he retired, and he took a few small jobs after retirement. Harold built two different sets of kitchen cabinets for his daughter-in-law. He helped his son and daughter-in-law build a house in 2006. When his daughter's house needed to be roofed, he was the main carpenter on that project. If any of the kids or grandkids had a remodeling project. Harold was there getting it done. Harold enjoyed playing music. He learned to play the guitar when he was in his early 20s. He started out playing at the sale barn for the coon hunts in Green Forest, AR. In the 90s and 2000s Harold had a band named the “Silver Dew Band”. They played for several years at the legion hall in Kingston, AR every other weekend. If Harold was invited to a music party, you could rely on him being there. Harold played for several years in Neosho, MO. He was involved in the Blue Eye, Missouri reunion, singing and entertaining, which was something Harold enjoyed doing. He did not know a stranger.
He put his family first. He never missed anything important if he could keep from it. He went to his daughter’s basketball games and would turn cartwheels when our team would win. He would come home from work and pile kids into the back of the pickup and take them to the creek to swim. He taught many to swim!
He never wanted to miss anything to do with his grandkids or great-grandkids and always showed up for them if he could.
He will be greatly missed by his wife of 65 years Joy Sue (Dotson) Simkins of the home. Children Keith (Reba) Simkins, Megan (Don) Shook. Grandchildren Kyle (Samantha) Simkins, Skyler (Reyna) Simkins, Tiffany (Dustin) Crawford, Hunter (Amelia) Shook. Great-grandchildren Dusty Simkins, Anton and Genevieve Garska, Kinley and Logan Crawford, Eli, Raelynn, and Jase Shook. Brother Harley Simkins, sisters Carolyn Watts and Connie Atchley. Many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Alvie Newton and Carmie Letta (Hollars) Simkins. Brothers Kerby and Byford Simkins.
Celebration of Life services for Harold will be Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Smith Family Funeral Home with Rev. John Bartlett officiating. Interment will follow at Alpena Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 29 from 5-7 PM at the funeral home. Online condolences can be made at smithfamilyfuneralhome.net.