Mesothelioma Claims Life of New Orleans Man ~ The Truth About Mesothelioma

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mesothelioma Claims Life of New Orleans Man

New Orleans resident William Simmons has passed away after battling mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, is linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure. The disease attacks the body aggressively, and has been known in some cases to kill patient's mere months after being diagnosed.

Simmons was 84, and had lived in New Orleans since the age of 5. Williams was the founder of a multi-million dollar industrial plating business, and it was Simmons' company that plated "the bumpers and all else that could be plated" on Fats Domino's legendary pink Cadillac. He also gold-plated an altar in a New Orleans church.

The business that grew to become Simmons Plating and Grinding Co. was launched with a $75 loan just after World War II. Simmons received the start-up funds from his uncle after his service in the Marine Corps. The New Orleans business grew slowly at first, as Simmons took night classes to learn the trade.

As Simmons furthered his education and received more practical experience, he was able to develop an improved technique of electroplating. He also designed a plating machine and built a coast-to-coast client list that included General Electric and many other companies along the lower Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast.

In his later years, the company developed coatings for rotating equipment such as compressors, turbines and gears. Simmons also served as a trustee of St. Luke's United Methodist Church. He is survived by longtime companion Barbara Ferguson, as well as his sister, Amelia Coghlan of Covington.

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