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MATTHEW ROY SIMMONS 1943-2010HOUSTON, TEXAS - Matt was born on April 7, 1943 to Roy and Elizabeth ("Tibby") Simmons, and grew up in Layton and Kaysville, Utah. Matt attended college at the University of Utah where he graduated cum laude with a degree in Accounting and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School where he served on the faculty as a Research Associate for two years. During his time at Harvard, he met and married the love of his life, Ellen Lougee. They became the parents of five extraordinary daughters: Wheeler, Abigail, Emma, Winifred and Lydia.Above all, Matt enjoyed time spent with Ellen and the girls, taking great pride in their accomplishments. Traveling with them to the far reaching corners of the world, he always had watercolors and a brush close at hand, and was an accomplished artist. He played the marimba, was a great cook, and loved telling stories, which invariably became better as he retold them. He took special pride in, and was a student of, his pioneer Mormon heritage. His father once remarked that Matt enjoyed life more than perhaps anyone he had ever known, and his friends and acquaintances would no doubt add that his sense of humor, his commitment to great causes, and the enthusiasm with which he tackled his varied and seemingly endless list of projects enriched the lives of all who knew him.From trading pigeons as a young boy to working on a ranch in Nevada, Matt was an entrepreneur at heart. He started an investment bank/advisory firm in Boston, whose early clients were oil service companies. In 1974 he was a founder of a firm that went on to become Simmons & Company International. Simmons & Company grew, becoming a global leader in providing research, corporate finance, advisory and investment banking services to hundreds of oil service companies; more recently the firm began covering all aspects of energy. Matt retired from the firm as Chairman Emeritus in 2007, and went on to establish the Ocean Energy Institute, aiming to help supplant the world's fossil fuel reserves with energy from our oceans.Matt loved to challenge conventional thinking, and he backed his positions with extensive research. He published numerous papers for energy industry journals and was a frequent speaker at government forums, energy symposiums and in boardrooms of many leading energy companies around the world. His 2005 book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy questioned the sustainability of current levels of Middle East oil production. With his passing, the energy industry loses one of its greatest fans, and one of its sharpest and brightest critics. Over time, his contribution to the world's largest industry will be legendary and not remembered for any one issue, idea, position or accomplishment. His work was always marked with direction, purpose and excitement.He gave his time and resources generously to many non-profit organizations, reflecting his diverse interests. He was a trustee of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine; The Island Institute in Rockland, Maine; the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and had served as President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association. He also served on the boards of The Alley Theatre in Houston, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors, the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences, and was past-Chairman of the National Ocean Industry Association. He was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Atlantic Council of the United States and the National Petroleum Council.Matthew Roy Simmons passed away on August 8, 2010, from a heart attack at his summer cottage on North Haven, Maine.He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Ellen, his five daughters, son-in-law, Millen Griffith VI, his brothers, L. E., Harris and David, and his sisters, Julie Simmons Watkins and Liza Simmons Hoke, and their families.Services will be held in Rockport, Maine and Houston, Texas.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Ocean Energy Research Institute, 91 Camden Street, Suite 401, Rockland, ME 04841, or online at www.oceanenergy.org, in memory of Matthew R. Simmons.

Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 26, 2010
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