Cleta Marie Simmons

Monday, April 30, 2018

Cleta Marie (Whitaker) Simmons, aged 104, passed away Thursday, April 26, 2018, at Rector Nursing and Rehab, Rector, Ark. Cleta was born August 17, 1913, in Rector, and was the daughter of John Reese and Pearl Cleveland (Hardin) Whitaker.

Cleta was married to Auda Lee Simmons on Sept. 15, 1946, in Portageville, Mo. The couple settled in the Blue Cane community southeast of Rector where they were engaged in farming until their retirement.

Cleta was a longtime member of the Fifth and Pine Church of Christ, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Clay County Extension Homemakers Club and the Rector Woman’s Club. She enjoyed gardening, cooking and needlework.

Cleta was preceded in death by her parents, Reese and Pearl Whitaker; her husband, Auda Simmons; her son, Ralph Edward Simmons; her daughter, Rose Marie (Simmons) Hayes; her infant son, Joseph Lee Simmons; one brother, Harlan Cecil Whitaker; and one sister, Earline Louise (Whitaker) Moore.

She is survived by one son, Richard Simmons and his wife Shirley of Rector; daughter-in-law Rebecca Simmons of Rector; son-in-law Tommy Hayes of Franklin, Tenn.; nine grandchildren, Stephen and wife Jamie Simmons, David Simmons, Will Simmons, Bradley and wife Sarah Hayes, Ashley and husband Adam Birch, Jeremy and wife Leanne Hayes, Jody and wife Heather Simmons, John and wife Jen Simmons and Cary Simmons; fourteen great-grandchildren, Sydney, Samuel, and Sophie Simmons, Anna Belle, Mason, and Landry Hayes, Grayson and Whitaker Birch, Jett and Beau Hayes, Ethan and Austin Simmons, and Connor and Vivienne Simmons.

The family expresses heartfelt appreciation to Cleta’s longtime caregivers, Betty Lewis and Louise Faries, as well as a host of other caregivers and friends who positively touched Cleta’s life for so many years.

Memorials may be made to Fifth and Pine Church of Christ, the Children’s Home of Paragould or the Rector Helping Hands Foundation.

Pallbearers will be Stephen Simmons, David Simmons, Will Simmons, Bradley Hayes, Adam Birch, Jeremy Hayes, Jody Simmons, John Simmons, and Cary Simmons.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at the Fifth and Pine Church of Christ in Rector.

Those who wish may sign the condolence book at