GENEVA COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A native son of the Wiregrass is back home after more than eight decades since his death.

Among the remains that were recently exhumed in Hawaii from the USS California that sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a Geneva County man.  

The funeral procession for Tceollyar Simmons proceeded down Main Street in Samson. Known to family and friends as simply “T,” was aboard the USS California on December 7, 1941, when he and 103 other crew members were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Recently, human remains of the crew were exhumed from a Naval cemetery in Hawaii. Only 18 years old when killed, DNA tests determined remains found were that of Seaman Second-class Simmons.

“Where Mr. Simmons will finally be laid to rest on June 14th, 2022 in Hacoda, Alabama, and will be remembered for his service to this country and his ultimate sacrifice,” Blue Star Veteran’s organization member, Tom Long said.

On Tuesday, he finally found his resting place for eternity. For T’s family, this would be a very special day.  If he were alive today, T would be 99 years old.

“And it’s just wonderful we never thought we would see the day in our lives that he would be identified and brought home to us, we are very grateful,” T’s cousin,  Lisa Blan-Hoye said.

Simmons is now buried next to his mother and father at Corner Creek Cemetery in the small Hacoda Community.