Willie graduated from Hinds County Agricultural High School, Utica Junior College and Alcorn State University and entered the workforce as a school teacher during the turbulent sixties. He was drafted into the United States Army and is a proud combat veteran of the Vietnam War. After his military service in Vietnam, Willie met and married his wife of forty-seven years, Rose Sibley Simmons. Willie and Rose made their home in Bolivar County, Cleveland, Mississippi and they have four children: Avery, Christopher, Reginald, Sarita and ten grandchildren.
Willie began his seventeen-year career in state service at the Mississippi Department of Corrections and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Commissioner of Corrections. During this time, he furthered his education at Delta State University where he received a M.S. Degree in Guidance and Counseling and an Ed.S. Degree in Counseling and Administration. Willie is a member of Solomon Chapel A.M.E. Church where he serves as a Trustee; Life Member of Alcorn State University Alumni, 2019 ASU Alumni of the Year; Life Member of Delta State University Alumni; Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated; Life Member of the NAACP; Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women; Member of the National Democratic Party Platform Committee and as such introduced and successfully adopted the “Poverty Eradication Initiative” which was utilized in President Barak Obama’s Administration. Willie is the Chief Operating Officer of Simmons and Associates Consulting Firm and the Owner of The Senator’s Place, a soul food restaurant located in Cleveland, Mississippi. Like a proud parent, Willie is pleased that The Senator’s Place was featured on the CNN program, “Anthony Boudain: Parts Unknown”, formerly hosted by renowned Chef and Food Expert Anthony Boudain, who traveled around the world and featured the local culture and cuisine.