Friday, June 26, 2009

A Legend -- R.I.P. Mr. Philip Simmons

Saturday's funeral for legendary blacksmith Philip Simmons has been moved across Anson Street, from his church to the Gaillard Auditorium, to handle the expected crowd.

Simmons was a widely known and admired figure in Charleston for his many decades of work keeping the city's ironworking tradition alive. He died Monday at age 97.

His services begin today with a viewing from noon to 5 p.m. at the St. John's Reformed Episcopal Church, 91 Anson St. That will be followed by a celebration at the Gaillard Auditorium from 6-9 this evening.

On Saturday his funeral will begin at 11 a.m. at the Gaillard Auditorium, followed by a private burial at Sunset Memorial Garden.

Following the funeral, the procession will pass by Simmons' large gate at the Charleston Visitor Center, at Meeting and Ann streets, for those who want to gather there to pay tribute to him.

The College of Charleston's faculty and staff tied about 30 white ribbons to the college's ironwork Thursday as part of the citywide remembrance.

Mayor Joe Riley said the city would tie white ribbons to the ironwork that Simmons created for the city's parks and buildings, and he invited anyone to honor Simmons by tying white ribbons to their ironwork.

(The Post & Courier)