This obituary holds double the information. But there are unanswered questions also. R. L. Simmons died first. What happened to him? There is nothing about his cause of death. Was Mrs. Alford there because her son-in-law died or because of the family gathering? And, then, what was the cause of her death? How did her poor daughter make it through the grief of losing her husband and mother within hours of each other? I checked other issues of the newspaper but found nothing else about this family tragedy.
Double Funeral Services Held at Progress Church
Mrs. J. D. Alford and R. L. Simmons Are Laid to Rest
Joint funeral services were held Friday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the Progress Baptist Church for Mrs. J. D. Alford and R. L. (Rob) Simmons [Robert Lee Simmons], one of her sons-in-law, in whose home she died. Mr. Simmons death preceded Mrs. Alford’s passing only a few hours.
The Rev. Wyatt R. Hunter, the Rev. J. E. McGraw, the Rev. F. W. Gunn and the Rev. A. A. Pardue officiated at the rites.
Immediately following the funeral services the body of R. L. Simmons was interred in the Progress cemetery and the body of Mrs. J. Doe Alford was moved to her old home now occupied by her son, C. A. Alford, interment pending the arrival of her son, D. C. Alford of Washington, D. C. and her daughter, Mrs. Luther Byrne of Selma, California, and burial followed in Silver Springs cemetery.
Mrs. Alford. Mrs. Luminda James Fortenberry, was 86 years of age. She was born December 22, 1856 at Progress, where she was raised during her entire lifetime. In 1874 she was married to the late J. Doe Alford. [My records show her name as Olevia Luminda Fortenberry Alford and her husband as Jeptha J. Alford.]
Serving as pallbearers were Fred Fortenberry, D. T. Alford, Rex Simmons, Walter F. Simmons, Jr., Bonney Schilling and C. A. Simmons.
Mrs. Alford leaves the following sons and daughters, G. H. Alford [George Howard Alford], Mrs. R. L. Simmons [Lillie Dale Alford Simmons], Y. S. Alford [Yarborough S. Alford] and C. A. Alford [Claude Anding Alford], all of Progress; D. C. Alford [Delis Collier Alford], Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Luther Byrne, Selma, California; Mrs. Hollis Ball, Columbia, Miss., and the late Mrs. G. O. Simmons [Carrie Lee Alford Simmons] of Progress. Another son, L. A. Alford [Luther Alvin Alford], of Newark, New Jersey, passed away several years ago. She leaves 38 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren. This was the first time that all her children had been together in 40 years.
Early in life she became affiliated with the Baptist Church and remained a faithful member of until her death. As was said by one of the ministers at the funeral service, “She hath done what she could.”
Catchings Funeral Home was in charge.
Mr. Simmons. A farmer of the Progress community, Mr. Simmons was a member of the Silver Creek Masonic Lodge. He was born on February 12, 1876, at Progress where he also resided during his entire lifetime. He was married to the former Miss Lillie Alford.
Serving as pall bearer were members of the Silver Creek Masonic Lodge. Following the services the body lay in state in the old home and interment followed in the Progress cemetery.
He leaves his wife [Lillie Dale Alford Simmons]; two sons, Lt. Joe Simmons and Lt. Clyde Simmons of Camp Rucker, Alabama; two brothers, G. O. Simmons and W. T. Simmons, a sister, Mrs. G. H. Alford, all of Progress; one brother, Judge E. J. Simmons, Magnolia, and a sister, Mrs. L. V. Brock of McComb.
Mr. Simmons was a son of the late Dr. W. F. and Annie Hall Simmons of Simmonsville, now the Progress community, and was a member of the Progress Baptist church.
Ginn Funeral Home of Tylertown was in charge.
Source: Double Funeral Services Held at Progress Church. (McComb, MS: Enterprise-Journal, 8 Dec 1942) 1; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed December 2018.