Yazoo business pioneer Macel Simmons dies

Macel Gary Simmons, born in Yazoo City on February 22, 1929, passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2019 with her family by her side. She was 90 years old.

After graduating from Bentonia High School she went on to attend cosmetology school and worked briefly in Louise where she met her husband, Harry Daniel “Red” Simmons, Sr. They married in 1947.

Known to most as “Bunks”, she was a fixture in the Yazoo community.  Over the years she operated several local businesses including The Donut Shop, Simmons Bakery and Catering, Brown’s on Canal, and Four Points, a restaurant that became a renowned local landmark. During this time every birthday cake, wedding cake, or wedding that was catered in Yazoo City was most likely prepared by her. Her petit fours and sugar cookies were legendary.

While always involved in agriculture, in 1978 the Simmons family ventured into catfish farming, where she worked alongside her husband and son to develop what is now Simmons Farm Raised Catfish. Macel was involved from the ground up where she was tasked with one of the most important jobs in the operation as the person responsible for the flavor testing.  She performed many other duties both on the farm and at Four Points well into her seventies. Her dedication, unparalleled work-ethic and drive were what made everything click and is what the company culture is built on today.

Later in life she served on the board of Kings Daughters Hospital, and was very involved with First United Methodist Church of Yazoo City, and numerous other community organizations.

Mrs. Simmons was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Daniel “Red” Simmons, Sr., and her parents, Edward Elliott and Annie Kealofer Gary, all of Yazoo City.

She is survived by son, Harry Daniel Simmons, Jr. (Shirley) of Yazoo City; daughter, Susie Simmons Bradshaw of Yazoo City; granddaughter Patty Bradshaw Collins (Jody); grandson, Dan Bradshaw, Jr. (Melissa) of Yazoo City; granddaughter, Emily Simmons of Jackson; and granddaughter, Katy Simmons Prosser (Andy) of Madison; and 7 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services were Saturday at First United Methodist Church.

The family requests memorials be made to First United Methodist Church of Yazoo City.