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George Hicks Simmons

By Kevin McKinnon, 03/15/13 9:21 AM

2014720George Hicks Simmons, our beloved Father, Grandfather (“Papaw”), and Great-Grandfather passed away in Winter Springs, Florida on Friday, March 15, 2013, just two months shy of his 90th birthday.

“G.H.”, or George, as he preferred to be called, lived a full and storied life. Born in Hope, Arkansas, to parents Alden Furman Simmons and Minnie Lou Card Simmons, he was one of 11 siblings.

He is survived by his three loving daughters, Dianne Nicholson, Oviedo, Florida, Sandi Peery (Richard), Winter Springs, Florida, and Dottie Parham (Alan), Birmingham, Alabama, his two beloved grandsons, Rob Peery (Kelli) and Rich Compton (Tia) and his beautiful great grandchildren, Jazlyn, Lila, and Cameron, of Winter Springs/Oviedo, Florida, and his hanai (adopted) granddaughter Josielynn Cox, of Hawaii, as well as numerous very special nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his beloved son, George Baron Simmons, his brothers, Milton, Frank, Paul, A.F. and Guy; and his sisters, Pauline Durham and Lillian Tate.

George had a proud career in the Navy as a young man, serving in the Pacific aboard the USS Stratford and the USS Shangri-La as a Communications Specialist during World War II in the Philippines. After leaving the Navy, he worked with Western Union for twenty-five years, and enjoyed traveling to many different states and countries with his job. In 1975 he joined the US Navy Department as a civil servant at the Pentagon in Washington DC. In 1987, he was transferred to the US CincPac Fleet operations on Oahu, Hawaii, where he lived and retired before returning to the mainland in 2012.

George was raised in the Church of Christ, and was also a proud member of the Masons. He loved his country, his immediate and extended family, his life in Hawaii, and his well-worn family Bible. He always had a wonderful sense of humor and a joy of life with adventures and stories from his many travels throughout his career.

The family wishes to thank Arden Courts Memory Care of Winter Springs, Florida, FHL Care Management of Orlando, Florida, and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care of Central Florida for the extraordinary respect and care they provided.

Visitation will begin at noon, followed by a celebration of his life at 2:00 PM in the Herndon-Pharr Funeral Home Chapel in Hope, Arkansas on Saturday, March 23, 2013, with graveside services following at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Hope, Arkansas.

“For all the love you gave, for all the life you loved, mahalo and aloha au ia’oe.”