Henry Wayne Simons, died Friday, August 27, 2021, at Vidant Chowan Hospital, Edenton, NC after a brief illness. Henry was born on January 23, 1939, in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, NC to the late James Emmitt Simons and late Helen Jones Askew.
Henry was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF), working as a Senior Lineman. He received an honorable discharge from the USAF in 1962, serving six years. He was stationed at various air bases world-wide, which included Travis Air Force Base (AFB) in CA, Maxwell AFB in AL, Tachikawa AFB in Japan, and Kimpo AFB in Korea.
Upon his discharge from the USAF, Henry worked for the Department of Defense, Naval Sea Systems Command located at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard before retiring in 2008 after 37 years of service. He was part of a team that worked on submarines and ships, such as the USS Wasp, the USS Finback, and the USS Kearsage. He held various jobs and positions throughout his career and received awards of recognition for his exceptional trade skills and work ethics. One notable letter of appreciation was from the Commander, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, for Henry’s technical expertise, integrity, and professionalism. Henry was recognized for the success of the project working on the USS Kearsarge, a wasp-class amphibious assault ship. He received accolades for his “Can Do” attitude, earning the distinction as a top-notch employee of the shipyard.
Henry loved history, wildlife and especially sports. He played basketball and football for the Elizabeth City High School in Elizabeth City, NC. His memory for sport facts and figures were immeasurable and he could remember who won the high school football game from decades before. He often talked about past times at the shipyard and serving in the USAF. Henry once made National headlines in October of 1959, when he was involved in a bar brawl in Japan along with several other airmen. The five airmen were attacked by a 10-man local gang and one of the air policemen was injured when hit with a flying beer bottle. In the end, local police arrested four of the gang members for assault. There was no disciplinary action against the airmen as they were only trying to defend themselves.
Henry’s love of his life was the late Joyce Faye Oliver Simons who passed away in 2014. They were married for 30 years. He often told the story of how he first met Faye’s six children (at the time, ages 2- 12) and could not believe that they were all hers. Henry’s loving and generous heart cared for Faye’s children, and he became their father figure, and later in life he became a grandfather, great-grandfather, and great great-grandfather. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Brenda Lou MacDonald. Surviving are his three daughters, Yvonne M. Belch and husband Arnold of Sanford, Sandra M. Hampton and husband Steve of Manteo, and Darlene M. Bunch and husband Bruce of Edenton; two sons, John Grant MacDonald and wife Jamie of Wildwood, FL., and Randy MacDonald and wife Beth of Manteo; 19 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. Also surviving are two half-brothers; James D Liles (“JD”) and wife Joanne, of Emerald Isle, NC, and Don Liles of KY; and one stepsister, Dona Agar and husband Tony Medley of Nashville, NC. A big part of Henry’s life and a positive role model was his late stepfather, James “Jim” Agar.
In memory of Henry’s life, charitable donations can be made to your local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). A private gathering by the family in celebration of Henry’s life will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.twifordfh.com. Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 is assisting the family of Mr. Simons.
Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)
405 East Church Street,