Winston-Salem Journal--Apr 4, 2002
CLEMMONS - Mr. Dudley Lee Simms III, a businessman and philanthropist of Christian causes, passed away at his home, River Hills Farm in Clemmons, at the age of 64.
Mr. Simms was the founder of The Piece Goods Shops which was a publicly traded national retail chain with more than 300 stores in 11 states. He was also the founder of TV station 45, an ABC affiliate, in Winston-Salem with original call letters WGNN - the Good News Network. He was an owner and developer of commercial properties in seven southeastern states including Towers Shopping Center in Winston-Salem. Mr. Simms was a 30 year member of the Rotary Club and a 32nd degree Mason. He was active in the Wake Forest Deacon Club and the Educational Foundation of the University of North Carolina. He served on the boards at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; Southeastern Theological Seminary in Wake Forest; Wingate College in Wingate, and also served as a director on numerous corporate boards. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church and spoke in various countries throughout the world, proclaiming the importance of having Jesus Christ in one's life. Mr. Simms was an avid sportsman whose interests included equestrian activities, tennis, skiing, upland hunting and coastal sailing from Maine to the Caribbean. He resided in Forsyth County on his horse farm outside of Winston-Salem located on the Yadkin River.
He was born the son of the late Opal Marie Riddle and Dudley Lee Simms Jr. in Charleston, W.Va.
He was educated at Greenbrier Military School, attended Wake Forest University on a ministerial scholarship and was licensed to preach. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Kappa Delta Chi National Honor Society.
Mr. Simms married Barbara Ann Trumbo 43 years ago while a student at Wake Forest. They resided in Huntington, W.Va., for 11 years before returning to Winston-Salem in 1972. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters Troy Lee Simms Wright and son-in-law Abner G. Wright III of Winston-Salem, Tuesdy Lee Simms of Winston-Salem and Tracy Lee Simms Winston and son-in-law Robert W. Winston III of Raleigh; and son Dudley Lee Simms IV and daughter-in-law Aimee Adkins Simms of Dallas, Texas. His grandchildren include Taylor and Simms Wright, Robert IV, Tracy, Miller and Spencer Winston, Dudley V. Armstrong and Hampton Simms. Also surviving are his identical twin brother, John Lee Simms of Sea Island, Ga.; and sister Dr. Patricia Simms Harrison of Huntington, W.Va. He was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Lee Simms Sears of Charleston, W.Va.; and a grandson, Abner Glenn Wright IV.
Pallbearers are Kirk Glenn, Arthur Spaugh, Pen Sandridge, Jarman Jenkins, Joe Parker, Dick Hensel, John Taylor, Frank Bell, Don Haver, Steve Phelps and Dick Stockton. The family will receive friends from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Vogler & Sons Funeral Home on Reynolda Road in Winston-Salem. The funeral service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Abner G. Wright IV Library, Calvary Baptist Church, 5000 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104.