Marscine Simmons (left) was announced as the Citizen of the Year recipient for 2013 by Silsbee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim Willis (center) and Walter Land, Silsbee Chamber of Commerce Director. -Photo by Daniel Elizondo
When Marscine Simmons moved to Silsbee 79 years ago, his life became full circle with the community and church alike.
Entering his senior year at Waldo Mathews High School in Silsbee, Simmons made his mark early, graduating in 1943.
Becoming a primed youth in Silsbee was only the beginning of Simmon’s life in the town he now calls home.
His resume is beyond belief what this man has done in Silsbee, and his endearing love of the community has landed him numerous awards, even being named Citizen of the Year for 2013 by Silsbee Chamber of Commerce this week.
“You don’t know how proud I am right now,” Simmons said. “My daddy always told me to take part in the church and community.”
Simmons relied on those words throughout his life and the resume he has to show now at the age of 87 proves he followed in his footsteps.
Simmons was born to James and Cora Simmons and is the grandson of Griffith and Viney Simmons, who were slaves in the 18th century.
Simmons entrusted his father’s word, having been a preacher all of his life.
After completing school, Simmons became a hardworking man, having started with B.F. Goodrich in Port Neches for three years before taking on a long, prosperous career at Santa Fe Railroad. He retired from the railroad, where he was a conductor for 39 years.
But retirement wasn’t the end of the road for Simmons.
His community involvement in Silsbee became another phase of his busy life.
He was a member of the Silsbee Chamber of Commerce and served on the board as a director from 1996-2000.
Other community services Simmons took part in were, a citizen’s task force, former member of the Practical Parenting Education program, Silsbee ISD Site Based program and steering committee, Hardin County CitizensPolice Academy, member of Saint Chapel COGIC and head of the deacon’s board, served as the commissioner to select grand jury for Hardin County and also did volunteer work for Kirby Cemetery.
His faith remains strong and took after his father when it comes to church and his beliefs.
He was chairman of deacon board of Simon’s Memorial Church of God in Christ and remains active in his church community and family.
Simmons was honored in 2006 by the City of Silsbee after he was recognized with a proclamation deeming Feb. 20 as Mr. Marscine E. Simmons Day in honor of Black History Month.
Simmons was also honored by the Silsbee Citizen Action Network for duty beyond excellence.
He was also selected as parade marshall for the 2007 Martin Luther King Parade and celebration.
Simmons married his high school sweetheart, Essie Burkes Simmons of Silsbee and the two became parents of four children, Ret. Sgt. Major Carvin L. Simmons, Judy Simmons Cornelius, Bobby Simmons and Patricia Simmons.
Today, Simmons remains active in his church and has had to slow down on sporting events due to illness, but his support of Silsbee Tigers remains strong.
“I still have things I want to accomplish,” Simmons said. “My brothers and sisters wanted me to move north a long time ago, but I chose to stay here in Silsbee."