Robert Harrison Simmons, 87, of Los Osos, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his family on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, from complications of a rare auto-immune disorder. Dr. Simmons was a Professor Emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles where he taught for 25 years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, his Master's Degree from the University of New Mexico, and his Baccalaureate Degree from the University of Dubuque, Iowa. Selected as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar to Australia, Dr. Simmons was also a recipient of two Danforth Foundation Teacher Awards. During his tenure at California State University Los Angeles, Dr. Simmons was Director of Peace Corps training in the early years of the program in the 1960s, and chaired the Academic Senate, among many other committees and commissions. The published author of several books and numerous articles, Dr. Simmons was also a psychohistorian, consultant to individuals, couples, families and organizations, co-founder of the California nonprofit Support Group Network, and co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit PhysicianWellness Foundation. Internationally known for his work in group theory and behavior, he spent more than 50 years teaching and consulting, as well as guiding transformational change in business, corporations and public agencies. With great success, he adapted his creative approach in facilitating change to help individuals, couples and families. He was in private practice counseling couples and families on the central coast of California for more than 30 years. Born a twin, Robert spent his youth in Chicago and at the shore of Lake Michigan. He was an Eagle Scout in his teens, and during World War II served in the United States Navy as a Pharmacist's Mate, 3rd Class, stationed in San Diego. Robert is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 35 years, Mia Simmons; sons, Richard Van Ness Simmons and Drew Simmons; daughters, Karolyn Wilson and Rachael Simmons; older brother Van Ness Simmons; and sister-in-law Dorothy Simmons. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Robert will be remembered most lovingly by his family, friends, colleagues and all those he touched in his life for the profound impact he brought to all. A memorial service will be held at the Inn at Morro Bay from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Dec. 12, 2013