A Community Mourns: Remembering Don Simons

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Don Simons in a TV ad, left, Bozo the clown with Simons, center, and Bozo (right.) Bozo appeared in many of the ads over the years.

Don Simons in a TV ad (left,) Bozo the clown with Simons (center,) and Bozo (right.) Bozo appeared in many of the ads over the years.

UPDATE: Don Simons will be laid to rest at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at the Harvest Time Church on Winchester Road. Apostle Edmond James will officiate.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Don Simons, known for many years for his colorful commercials for Simons Jewelers, died Wednesday.  You'll remember him as the man who stood next to "Bozo the clown" and encouraged people to come to his jewelry store at the corner of Bob Wallace Avenue and Jordan Lane.

Simons was also very generous during his life, giving to Shriners Hospitals, Shoals Area Crimestoppers and area youth groups, among other charities.


Don Simons, in September 2014 (Photo: Gregg Stone/WHNT News 19)

Don Simons, in September 2014 (Photo: Gregg Stone/WHNT News 19)

Simons smoked for 42 years and most recently suffered severe effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.  WHNT News 19 profiled him in September 2014 as he used his experience to encouraged people not to ever start the habit.  He died at Huntsville Hospital, and was 57 years old.

Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris knew Simons for 35 years, and visited with him in the hospital a few days ago.

"Don has a big heart and is very caring," Chief Morris said. "He has helped many people and never sought recognition for it. He did it out of the kindness of his heart."

His funeral service will be held Sunday 2 p.m. at Harvest Time Church in Huntsville, followed by burial at the Valhalla Memory Gardens.

Survivors will host a visitation with family and friends from 6-7 p.m. Saturday at the Royal Chapel of Memories. Click here for more details or to sign the guestbook.

WHNT News 19 offers our thoughts and condolences to Simons' family and friends.