We regret to announce the sudden deaths of Kenneth J. Simmons, 62, and Alice M. Simmons, 59, and their two Golden Retrievers, Bailey and Lily, in a plane crash on February 1, 2019. They were traveling to the Bahamas, their favorite vacation destination. Ken was born on November 21, 1956 in Palm Beach, Florida to John and Lorraine Simmons. He received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. He owned and operated Simmons Veterinary Hospital for 30 years and was adored by colleagues, clientele, and staff of the practice. Ken was an innovative entrepreneur who expanded the practice to include a pet resort called the Barker's Hotel and Purrington Inn, which included a water park and served as a certified hurricane shelter for pets. He was larger than life, always engaging with a warm personality and a wicked sense of humor. Ken was well-known for his volunteer work helping animals in need in Palm Beach County and the Bahamas. He was happiest when he was in or on the ocean, fishing, diving, and boating. Alice was born on April 15, 1959 in Tampa, Florida, to Louis and Clare McCormick. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida, where she and Ken met. At the time, they lived in the same area, and the only thing that distracted Ken from his veterinary studies was "that cute little blonde, tanning in the red bikini." They were married on March 2, 1986. She was the Director of Business and Operations for Simmons Veterinary Hospital for decades and was largely responsible for the success of the practice. Alice was an incredibly caring person known for her patience, compassionate heart, sense of humor, and overall zest for life. Her volunteer work with Best Buddies made a tangible impact within the community. Alice valued spending time with her many friends and even played on a croquet team! She loved music, especially alternative rock and smooth jazz, and always seemed to know the latest trends. She practiced yoga and mindfulness, living in the moment. Alice often began her days on a run with the dogs and most of all, loved watching the breathtaking sunsets over the water, sometimes complemented by a good glass of wine. Ken and Alice are survived by their sons, Christopher (Amanda) Simmons and Matthew Simmons; Ken's mother, Lorraine Simmons; Ken's siblings, Kathleen (Patrick) Day, Dale (Marian) Simmons, and Patrice Antony; and Alice's siblings, Barbara (Dale) Buzzi, Suzanne (Steve) Hurst, Rita (Joe) Sammarco, Patricia (Mark) Dobson, and Dennis (Lisette) McCormick. The family wishes to thank the US Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, and US Air Traffic Control for their thorough search process and personal interactions with members of the Simmons and McCormick families. A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM (open to the public) at the Community of Hope (East Campus) - 2341 S Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415. Please dress to celebrate the lives of Alice and Ken. In lieu of flowers, the Simmons and McCormick families ask that donations be directed to the Coral Restoration Foundation (https://www.coralrestoration.org/donate
) in honor of Ken and Alice Simmons.
Published by Palm Beach Post on Feb. 10, 2019.