LIVE OAK, Fla. - Henry Ransom Simonds Jr. died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, in Live Oak, Fla., from pneumonia. He was 90 years old.
Ransom was born in Rochester on Aug. 11, 1921, son of the late Henry Ransom Simonds Sr. and Irene (Whitney) Simonds.
Ransom joined the Army
Air Corps in 1939 and was serving at Wheeler Field, O'ahu, Hawaii, during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He served a total of 28 years in the Army, Air Force and Air National Guard as a radio mechanic and navigator and earned many medals for service, retiring as a Major.
Ransom graduated from Columbia University with a degree in philosophy. He held many teaching positions for math and many other subjects in both Maine and New Hampshire. He also coached basketball, directed several school plays, sponsored an Ecology and Philosophy Club and was a Drama Club coach.
Ransom was also a self-taught piano player who delighted hundreds of listeners over the years at many restaurants and clubs, and in later years at nursing homes and the N.H. State Hospital in Concord. In 1999 he was awarded the Adult Volunteer of the Year Award by the N.H. Heath Care Association. He was also a lover of camping, fishing, hunting and hiking. He took his family on many memorable camping trips into the wilder areas of New England and Canada and was a strong advocate of protecting the environment. He also believed strongly and wrote passionately about eating health food and taking herbal supplements, and credits them for his long life and relative freedom from medication.
ansom was predeceased by his sister, Ruby (Chapman) Gakeler (by only 11 days) of Dowling Park, Fla., and his sister, Pearl Rasmussen of Caribou, Maine.
Ransom is survived by his son, Henry R. Simonds III, and daughter, Nola I. Frost and her husband, Ira Frost, both of Contoocook; three grandchildren all living in Concord: Jeremy J. Frost and his wife, Tanya, Daniel P. Frost, and Liane R. Whittum and her husband Keith; and two great-grandchildren, Autumn E. Frost of Newton, Mass., and Liliane N. Whittum of Concord.
An interment ceremony with military honors will he held at the NH Veteran's Cemetery on Monday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to one of his favorite environmental protection organizations, The Nature Conservancy, by mail: Attn: Treasury (web/memorial giving), 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203, or online at nature.org