Roger Lee Simmons

February 25, 1940 - February 14, 2011
Roger Lee Simmons

Dr. Roger Lee Simmons, Jr. died February 14, 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer.

The son of the late Roger Lee and Emma Young Simmons, he was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky on February 25, 1940. After graduating from McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he studied electrical engineering at MIT, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and the MIT golf team. Dr. Simmons received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in molecular biology. After earning his medical degree at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, he served as a captain in the Public Health Service’s Heart Disease Control Program applied physiology laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C.

In 1970, Dr. Simmons became the director of program development for the Community Electrocardiographic Interpretative Service in Denver, Colorado, and later the founder and president of MDP, Inc., a medical computing consulting company. He was also a clinical assistant professor of biometrics in the department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and served as the associate medical director of the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care and its Professional Standards Review Board. Dr. Simmons was instrumental in the development of computer-assisted EKG diagnostic programs and electronic medical records. He presented workshops in cardiac electrophysiology for the American College of Cardiography and at medical school workshops and symposia.

An active community volunteer in Denver and after moving to Wilmington in 1990, Dr. Simmons served as a board member and officer of Family Services of the Lower Cape Fear; as a member and officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 10-06; and as a volunteer computer consultant at Wilmington Health Access for Teens, for which he was honored as W.H.A.T.’s Ten-Year Outstanding Volunteer and a North Carolina “Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer”. He loved sailing and flying, was a ham radio operator and enjoyed building radio-controlled model airplanes and model railroad layouts.

He will be remembered for his sense of humor and warm compassion for others. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who cared deeply about his family. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Carolyn H. Simmons; two sons: Dr. Clif Simmons and wife Karen, of Wilmington, N.C., and Ric Simmons and wife Angie Lloyd, of Canal Winchester, Ohio; five grandchildren: Parker, Cyrus, Aquila, Zeke and Skylar. Also surviving are a brother-in-law Dr. Arthur House and wife Rita of Simsbury, Connecticut; a sister-in-law Dr. Betsey House and husband Gerald Eubank of Denver, Colorado; five nieces and nephews; and cousins James E. Ashlock (Julie) of Dalton, Georgia; Bobby Jo Hancock (Rodney) and Sam Simmons (Jane) of Jackson, Alabama; and Andrew Cafferky (Suzanne) of Florida.

The family welcomes friends at their home to celebrate and honor his life on Saturday February 19th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Mercy Corps, or Wilmington Health Access for Teens.

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Wilmington Funeral and Cremation, 1535 S. 41st St. Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

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  • February 16, 2011
    Pam and Bill Morine & Family says:
    Dear Carolyn & Family: We extend our condolences from two perspectives. As the North Carolina Section Manager for ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, Bill sends his sympathies from Roger's 18,000 North Carolina brethren. We will always remain grateful to Roger for his many positive contributions during the hurricane ridden and turbulent 1990s. The three local clubs to which he belonged ask to be remembered: Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club, the Wilmington VHF Association, and New Hanover County ARES, Amateur Radio Emergency Services. On a personal note, we are both saddened by your loss. We thoroughly enjoyed Roger's quick wit and insight into some of life absurdities, and we will miss his sense of humor. May you all find strength and renourishment in his legacy and memory. Sincerely, Bill & Pam Morine

  • February 16, 2011
    Sue Combs says:
    Dear Carolyn and family, I am so sorry to hear about Roger's death. What a loss of an amazing individual. My thoughts are with you. Sue

  • February 16, 2011
    Barb McNinch says:
    Dear Simmons family: I read with great sadness about the passing of Roger. While I did not know him long, I admired him greatly. I know that he will be supremely missed by everyone that knew him. My deepest sympathies to all the family. Barb McNinch

  • February 19, 2011
    Ray Buckberry says:
    Dear Carolyn, Clif and Ric - I was sorry to learn of Sonny's death by a phone call from home today. I wish I could be with you today to personally express my condolences. - Ray