USN (Ret.) (Age 66)  

Passed away at his home in Alexandria, VA on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. "Nat," as his friends and family called him, was born in Tampa, FL on April 4, 1946, the only child of Nathaniel Preston and Lillie Belle Simmons and grandson of Benjamin Stevenson. Nat attended Tampa Public Schools and Middleton Senior High School until 11th grade. He earned a prestigious full scholarship and early entrance to Morehouse College. He graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in sociology. He married the late Cynthia Patricia Treco at St. Joseph's Church, in Tampa, FL. Nat and Cynthia's union produced two sons, the late Nathaniel "Nate" P. Simmons, III, and Omari Scott Simmons.
In 1966, Simmons enlisted in the United States Navy, where he rose to the rank of Commander. After retiring from his long and distinguished military career, Nat founded Systems Integration Management, Inc. (SIM), a 150 employees company that provides services to defense agencies and a variety of other federal agencies. SIM has offices in Arlington and Charlottesville, Virginia; Jacksonville, North Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana' Charleston, South Carolina; and San Diego, California.
Nat Simmons garnered reputation for his generosity and support of college bound low-income students. After the deaths of his wife, Cynthia, and older son, Nate, Nat and Omari founded the Simmons Memorial Foundation, Inc. ("SMF"). For over fifteen years, SMF has provided mentoring, advising, and scholarships to high-achieving students who have enrolled in and earned college degrees from elite colleges and universities.
In addition to his work with high-school students, Nat was also a role model and mentor for young professionals and entrepreneurs. He was high-spirited, generous, kind, and believed in helping others. Everyone he met became a friend.
Simmons was also member of several social and civic organizations including Knight of Columbus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Carmichale Lagree American Legion Post 167, and the Masons.
Nat is survived by his son, Omari Scott Simmons; granddaughters, Sydney and Zoe; daughter-in-law, Kami Chavis Simmons; a host of friends, and members of the Systems Integration Management family.
Funeral service was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 3012 West Cherry, Street, Tampa. The interment will be at Garden of Memories, 4207 East Lake Avenue followed by a repast at the church.

Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 27, 2013