• 61°

Gaynell P. Simmons

Gaynell Potter Simmons, 84, of Fairfield, died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, at Vidant Inpatient Hospice, Greenville.

Born May 25, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Seth Seymore Potter and Gaybell Marie Franks. She was married to Benjamin Cartwright Simmons, Sr., who preceded her in death. She attended the Fairfield United Methodist Church.

She was quick-witted and possessed a “funny-bone” that she loved to share with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was conversational and a woman who was able to convey her thoughts and opinions skillfully and often. She possessed a great appreciation of God’s creation and enjoyed ringside seats on Lake Mattamuskeet with her beloved Ben, where they never failed to realize the blessing of observing the annual migration of waterfowl. Year after year, they watched the breathtaking views of the Canada Geese lifting up from the water, ascending and then descending into the fall harvest fields. Back and forth, the wild geese journeyed over the land and water that she held so dear, bringing her many hours of joyful, peaceful and contemplative reflection on the wonders of the Living God. Her love for reading allowed her to gain wisdom that exceeds learning. Affectionately known as “Old Granny,” she was a mother to many beyond her children.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at the home place on 6124 Piney Woods Road, Fairfield. Burial will follow in the family plot in the Fairfield Cemetery.

Surviving is a son, Benjamin “Jamin” C. Simmons and wife Pam, of Fairfield; three daughters, Melony S. Carawan and husband Phillip, of Manteo, Mary S. Spencer and husband Lamar, of Fairfield, Kathy S. Ballance and husband Murray, of Engelhard; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer O’Neal and husband Brian, Tara C. Foreman and husband Dennis, Marcus Ballance and wife Heather, Becky S. Allen and husband Josh, Benjamin Cartwright “Ben” Simmons, III and wife Tonya, Julie C. Hodges and husband Austin, Misty Spencer, Erin B. Anderson and husband Mike, Charlie Carawan and wife Danielle, Caroline B. Montgomery and husband Mike; 19 great-grandchildren, Austin Spencer, Ainsleigh O’Neal, Andrew O’Neal, Benjamin C. Simmons, IV, Dylan Simmons, Nathanael Simmons, Olivia Simmons, Melony Grace Hodges, Bailey Gray Hodges, Hunter Drake Hodges, Spencer Allen, Evan Allen, Jon Allen, Maggie Rae Ballance, Carter Ballance, Brenna Anderson, Aubree Foreman, Mary Greyson McKiski and Wyatt McKiski; three sisters, Jean Balance, of Fairfield, Sandra Bryan, of Springfield, Virginia, Sharon Spencer and husband Graham, of Fairfield; a brother-in-law, Lowell Griffith; and a gaggle of beloved nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Edward Neill Carawan; a great-grandchild, Jude Carawan; a brother, Garnet Eric “Buddy” Potter; and four sisters, Norma Caroline Ballance, Arlene Yvonne Griffith, Lorraine Marie Yates and Azalea Velere Mitchell.

The family will receive friends at the home place on 6124 Piney Woods Road, Fairfield, Friday morning after 10 a.m.

Arrangements are by Bryan Funeral Service, Swan Quarter.