Larry Simms

BELLVILLE: For Larry Simms, the Christian walk included no down-turned head, moping through life. It was characterized by serving God with all your heart – a heart full of joy – bent on making others laugh, with a fun, even crazy personality that would find him barefoot waterskiing, cutting wood or watching NASCAR.

Even in the face of adversity, his life verse “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21) became a clear focus. That gain was delivered Monday, July 11, 2016 from Hospice of North Central Ohio. He was 65.

Born June 6, 1951 in Mansfield to Roland Earl and Bertha Louise (Miller) Simms, Larry graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1969. His four years of service with the U.S. Navy included two tours in Vietnam during the war.

Larry had worked 31 years with a local pump company in the CNC machining center, then in the test department and finally in the stock room. For the last ten plus years he had owned and operated his own company BYKOTA lawn care, named after Ephesians 4:23: “Be Ye Kind One To Another.”

Not a man identified by his occupation, Larry was an early volunteer for Youth for Christ and as a member of the Body of Christ, he was a longtime member of Berean Baptist Church (where he was active with the Men’s Class) and more recently had attended CitiChurch. His heart for Christian mission work took him to Haiti, Dominican, Mexico and Brazil.

The twinkle in Larry’s eye never sparked brighter than when he and his wife were in his deep blue ‘07 Pontiac Solstice GXP “Jacked to the max” out cruising on a summer evening with his kappa & Friends Car Club of Marion

He is survived by his devoted wife Lynn (Ernsberger) Simms, whom he married September 5, 1995; children Gerad Papst of Bellville, Brooklynn Kochert of Mansfield, Brett & Andrea Papst of Cleveland, Kevin (Melissa) Fidler of Butler and Kelly Fidler; grandchildren Micaela, MacKenzie and Hayden Fidler, Alexis, Logan and Timber Papst, Tinley and Aleaha Kochert and Ellie Papst; his father-in-law and mother-in-law Ron & Loretta Ernsberger of Bellville; and a host of brothers and sisters in Christ.

Larry’s family will receive friends Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Berean Baptist Church, 2145 Middle Bellville Road, Mansfield. A worship service, giving glory to God and thanksgiving for the life of Larry Simms will be held in the church on Friday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jim Berry presiding. Burial, awaiting the resurrection, will follow in Bellville Cemetery, where Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail will hold graveside military honors. The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve Larry’s family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Larry’s memory to the Men’s Sunday school class of Berean Baptist Church or the Building Fund of CitiChurch may be made at the services or through the funeral home.

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