William F. Simmons, 81, Shillington, passed away Dec. 21, 2008, in the Mifflin Center, where he had resided for more than two years.He was the loving husband of Dorothy G. (Spencer) Simmons, to whom he was married 58 years.

Born in Swoyersville, Luzerne County, he was a son of the late Frank and Emma (Blazes) Simmons.

He was a member of St. John Baptist de la Salle Roman Catholic Church, Shillington. He was a member of the barbershop quartet for more than 10 years.

Mr. Simmons was an Army veteran of World War II.

He was a 1945 graduate of Reading High School. He attended Albright College and was a 1950 graduate of Temple University with a master's degree in education.

He was employed 36 years by Temple University, retiring in 1987 as professor emeritus. Mr. Simmons had the honor of having the Excellence in Laboratory Skills award named after him and awarded to a Temple student each year.

He also worked for Lennox Instruments Co., building power supplies.

Mr. Simmons was credited with working with NASA on the Mars probe satellite mission and the Explorer One satellite mission in 1958.

In 1981, he was awarded a United States patent for a variable fuel explosion engine.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Robert W. Simmons, West Lawn, and Richard W. Simmons, Blandon; and two daughters, Mary E. Wentzel, Reading, and Anne T. Chubb, Sinking Spring.

Other survivors include a sister, Frances Simmons, Reading.

There are also 11 grandchildren and a great-grandson.

He was predeceased by two sons, William J. Simmons, in 1954 and James J. Simmons, in 1987; a daughter, Susan M. Wrobel, in 2003; and a sister, Doris Chiarelli, in 2006.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. Baptist de la Salle Church.

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