Mary Elizabeth ""Betty"" (Coleman) Simmons died June 19, 2014 at Poet's Seat Health Care Center, Greenfield, MA, following a period of declining health. She was born May 28,1924 in Cooperstown, NY, the daughter of T. William Coleman and Sarah V. Meeneghan. She attended Cooperstown schools and graduated in 1942 in the first class in town to have had a kindergarten.
The Guest Book is expired.
Betty trained as a Registered Nurse at Ellis Hospital School of Nursing in Schenectady, NY. She worked as a surgical nurse at Albany Medical Center, where she met her husband of 49 years, pharmacy student Joseph Szymanowicz. Soon after their marriage, they were stationed at Camp Breckenridge, KY, during the Korean War. They next lived in Seneca Falls, NY, where she worked as a nurse at Sylvania, before settling in Clinton, NY. The couple lived in Cinton for nearly five decades and leave many friends there.
Betty and her husband were avid skiers and golfing members of the Skenandoa Club from its inception. They were staunch believers in our nation's political process and unfailing in their support of the Oneida County Democratic Party. Betty was a poll worker for many years. She worked as an RN Night Supervisor at the Martin Luther Home in the 1970s. Following the death of her husband, she moved to Greenfield to be closer to her children. She was a baseball fan and enjoyed watching her grandchildren's youth sports.
Betty's passions were working for social justice and travel. Her greatest disappointment was that she was never arrested for a cause. She went to Nicaragua with Witness for Peace, and she walked on the Great Wall of China in the early 1980s. She journeyed to Malta, Austria, Australia, England and Ireland, and had many adventures in the United States and Canada with friends and with Elder Hostel. She was a Girl Scout as a girl and as an adult and fondly remembered her time at Girl Scout camp. Her favorite place was at the beach, especially at Cape Cod in the summer, or Everglades City, FL, in the winter.
She leaves daughters, Sara Campbell of Erving, MA, and Ellen Lamb and her husband Rhett of Keene, NH; grandchildren, Jamie and his wife Linda, Brian and Carolyn Campbell and William, Brendan, Colman and Owen Lamb; nieces, Ann Rento (her goddaughter), Valerie Shepard and Debbi Smith; nephews, John Schnorr and Peter Simm, and grandnieces and grandnephews.
She was predeceased by her sister, Margaret Schnorr in 1991.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh St., Turners Falls, MA, at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Rev. Fr. Stanley J. Aksamit, pastor, will be the celebrant. Rites of committal and inurnment will take place on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in St. Mary's Cemetery, Index, NY, at 11 a.m.
Contributions may be made to Witness for Peace, 1616 P. St., Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036 or Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass, in c/o Girl Scout Service Center, Crossroads Business Park, 301 Kelly Way, Holyoke, MA 01040 in her name
The McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, MA, have been entrusted with the arrangements. For information, directions, to sign a guest book or direct a condolence message to the Simmons family, please visit:
McCarthy Funeral Homes
36 Bank Row Greenfield, MA 01301
Published in The Recorder on July 24, 2014