Shirley Simmons

  • "Aunt Shirl was so much fun! I will always remember..."
    - Leslie George
  • "Mom was and is loved by all. We miss her everyday and our..."
    - Debbie Simmons Kimball
  • "I am very sad to hear we lost my neighbor/friend. Shirley..."
    - Debbie San Filippo
  • "Sending my condolences to family of Shirley Simmons. She..."
    - Karyn Belger Bailey

It is with great sadness that we report that on April 7th, 2013, Shirley Simmons passed after a long struggle with cancer. She fought this disease with strength, humility, grace, and compassion for the people helping her. Her family and many friends supported her through her final days. Shirley will be remembered as a mother, grandmother, and a great friend. As it has been several months since her passing, it is clearer than ever that she was the glue that held so many different groups of individuals together. She is missed every day. Shirley was born and raised in the small Iowa town of Rockwell City. As a child she was heavily involved in all school activities including sports and music. She was described as a social and responsible child that was always helping others. During her summers, she taught swimming out at the lakes and lifeguarded as well. She ultimately decided to become a teacher and attended Northern Iowa State College. After college, Shirley and her friends headed West in a 57 Chevy to California to start their careers. Shirley landed a job with Los Angeles City School District. During her tenure with LAUSD, she taught physical education and spent her last 12 years of a 34 year career travelling to different schools teaching physically handicap children. Although rewarding, she retired and never looked back. Shirley then spent over 20 years in retirement travelling, camping at the beach, volunteering for several organizations, and spending time with family and friends. She was laid to rest off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. She was preceded in death by her father, Emmet Williams; mother, Alice Williams; brothers, Duane and Keith Williams. Shirley is survived by her children: Deborah and Rob Kimball of Paonia, CO; Michael Simmons of Huntington Beach, CA; and Patrick and Elaine Rowland of Glendora, CA; grandchildren: Josh Kimball, Justin Kimball, Jamie Kimball, Clare Rowland, Grace Rowland, and Cait Rowland. She also leaves behind the greatest friends a person can ask for in life. In lieu of flowers and cards, a tribute to Shirley has been established through the Fire Family Foundation. The money collected will be donated to Descanso Gardens in her name. Descanso Gardens, as many of you know, was a special place for Shirley and our whole family. Information may be obtained at
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 12 to Apr. 14, 2014
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