BIrds 02

Rev. Laura Simmons

April 11, 1935 ~ June 12, 2022 (age 87)

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Rev. Laura Simmons, age 87, of Mt.Sterling, Illinois passed away at 5:30 a.m.on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville, Illinois.

She was born April 11, 1935 in Cass County, Illinois the daughter of Eli Hugh and Rose Evelyn Moulton Newell.  She married Rev. Robert A. Simmons on September 28, 1968 in Mt. Sterling, Illinois and he preceded her in death on August 18, 1992.  

Laura served as pastor for the Benville Union Church in Brown County for nearly 30 years, following the death of her husband Bob, who served as pastor at the church for many years.  She also worked as a bookkeeper for several area companies, retiring in 2017.  

Laura graduated from East Peoria High School.

She was known as a kind, caring person who was always willing to help her community, and did so in numerous ways, including coordinating the local food basket for several years. 

Survivors include 3 children Rusty Garwood of Naples, Florida, Kathy Stambaugh of Custer, South Dakota and Jeff Garwood (Susan) of East Peoria, Illinois.  14 grandchildren Christine Bettis, Amy Watson, Eric Garwood, Tabi Taylor, Faith Radar, Katherine Roberts, Cheryl Hicks, Ian Garwood, Enoch Strange, Betty Pospisil, Jehu Strange, Chris Garwood, Josh Strange and Heather Young.  28 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.   1 brother Warren Newell (Dr. Teryle Wilder) of Parkville, Missouri also survives along with 2 nephews and 1 niece. 

She was preceded in death by her parents and 1 grandson James Garwood. 

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, June 20, 2022 in the Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling with Rev. Matt Haberman officiating.  Those unable to attend are invited to watch Laura’s funeral service live on the funeral home website at 

Burial will follow in the Benville Cemetery in Brown County. 

Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services on Monday at the funeral home. 

Memorials are suggested to the Brown County Food Basket. 

Condolences for the family may be left on line at

The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is assisting the family with the arrangements.


To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 20, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Hendricker Funeral Home
406 South Capitol Ave.
Mount Sterling, Illinois 62353

Funeral Service
June 20, 2022

1:00 PM
Hendricker Funeral Home
406 South Capitol Ave.
Mount Sterling, Illinois 62353

Video is available for this event

Interment following funeral service
June 20, 2022

Benville Cemetery
258 CH6 175N Ave.
Mount Sterling, Illinois 62353


Brown County Food Basket

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