Ervin McRay Simmons Sr., 82, served his customers with integrity and a smile is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Ervin McRay Simmons Sr.
Ervin McRay Simmons Sr.

HOLDEN BEACH — Ervin McRay Simmons Sr., 82, formerly of Whiteville, son of Allie Esau and Lillian Estelle Millican Simmons, was born at home in the Pleasant Plains Community near Whiteville on Aug. 7, 1934. Ervin went to be with Jesus his Savior on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

He is survived by his faithful wife, Miriam Suvon; sons, McRay (Cathryne), Ricky (Tammy), and Daniel (Robin); four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sister, Linda Stanley (Tommy, deceased) and brother, James (Peggy) Simmons. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Othell (Joyce Ann) Simmons.

Ervin graduated from Whiteville High School in 1952 and was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1954 to 1956, plus one year of reserve duty post-war. He earned a degree in business administration from Miller-Motte Business College in 1958. Ervin’s professional career was spent as a wholesale grocery salesperson and store counselor in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina, where he served his customers with integrity and a constant smile until his retirement in 1996. His greatest joy was while worshiping his God, serving others alongside his beloved wife in the name of Jesus Christ, spending time with family and friends, enjoying good food, displaying loyalty to country and singing gospel music.

As a devoted member of Old Dock Methodist Church and later of Sharon UMC in Holden Beach, Ervin served as lay leader, youth counselor of the UMYF, and choir director in his younger days and volunteer with the senior citizens of Columbus and Brunswick counties in his later years.

Visitation with the family will occur from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Sharon United Methodist Church, Holden Beach, followed immediately by the funeral service. Burial will follow in Old Dock Methodist Church Cemetery, 258 Dock Road, Whiteville, in the afternoon after the short drive from Holden Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Sharon United Methodist Church, 2030 Holden Beach Road SW, Supply, NC 28462; or SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane, Bolivia, NC 28422.

“O God, from my youth You have taught me,
and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God,
do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might
to another generation, Your power to all those to come.”
Psalm 71:17-18

You may offer online condolences at