Laura Hilston Simkins, 63, passed away on Nov. 22, 2013, after years of battling auto immune diseases.
Laura was born March 21, 1950, in Painesville and moved to Maryland in 1970.
She was a loving, devoted and hard-working wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, who will be deeply missed. Laura was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Arlington House Chapter, and the Mayflower Society.
Laura graduated from Riverside High School in 1968. She moved to Maryland in 1970 and later furthered her education at Howard Community College and the University of Maryland, in mathematics and computer science. She worked at Hydronautics Incorporated as a business systems programmer, and then at ENSCO Corporation where she pursued work in signal processing, voice and image processing and recognition and then music recognition. She worked for Digital Signal Corporation before starting a company with her partner-- Creative Engineering Concepts; during that time they supported both the defense industry and the commercial sector. Laura and her business partner hold several U.S. and foreign patents related to signal processing and free field audio-all of which were conceived before the proliferation of handheld devices. She most recently worked for L3 Communications, Northrup Grumman IT, and Signalscape. Laura also managed two other Limited Liability Corporations.
Survivors include her husband, Lee Simkins; son, Scott Simkins; grandchildren, Shelby and Victoria Barr; mother, Joan Hagan; brother, Michael Hilston (Barbara), sisters, Joni Frank(Rick), Michele Lakia (Skip), and Marsha Cassels (Tom); and sister-in-law, Pam Brady (Frank). She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews whom she loved and thought about often, including, Tony Frank (Ericka Blackburn), Scott Frank (Breeann), Bradley Crowe (Joanna), Dan Frank (Ingrid), Patrick Brady (Amelia), Tim Brady, Matt Lakia (Tiffany), Sarah Brokaw (Kevin), Neil Lakia (Cam Kisner), Eric Lakia (Erin), Kelly Fodor (Justin), Martin Hilston(Beth), Bill Hilston (Brittany Grant), Mark Hilston, Bob Hilston, Zack Cassels (Tess Boutselis), Melanie Cassels.
Laura was preceded in death by her father, Melvin Hilston; and her daughter, Kristina Barr.
A memorial service will be held on Nov. 30, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle Street, Fairport Harbor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lupus Foundation of America, GOC, 12930 Chippewa Road, Brecksville, OH 44141.