Barbara Joyce Simmons of Atchison County, Missouri, and Rochester, Minnesota, died at the age of 86 on March 27, 2017. Barbara was born in Fairfax, Missouri, to Gertrude and Moran Gaffney Wright on October 3, 1930. She attended the Fairfax Public Schools and Northwest Missouri State College in Maryville. She and her husband of 67 years, Thomas G. Simmons, owned and operated their family farms and agribusinesses in Northwest Missouri until their retirement and subsequent move from Tarkio to Rochester, Minnesota.
Throughout her life Barb was keenly interested in the happiness and well-being of other people. She was a strong advocate for education, championing the establishment of kindergarten in her hometown and serving on the Tarkio School Board. Barb enjoyed her membership and activity in the Methodist Church, where she was baptized and married in Fairfax, served as church treasurer in Tarkio, and in her later years was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. She worked enthusiastically to help others as a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic and, during her own prolonged illness, helped others navigate their healthcare with encouraging words of support. Barb shared her affection with the extraordinary medical staff who extended her life and with family and friends. P.E.O. and bridge clubs throughout her adult life brought her joy.
Barbara Simmons is survived by her husband Thomas G. Simmons of Rochester; sister Jacqueline Eikenberry of Independence, Missouri; daughter Doctor Patricia Simmons of Rochester and Saint Paul, Minnesota (m. Doctor Lester Wold); son Paul Scott Simmons of Davis, California (m. Michele Clark); grandson Paul Simmons Wold of Duluth, Minnesota (m. Kaylinn Stormo); granddaughter Barbara Nielsen Wold of West Point, New York (m. Major Matthew Textor); great-grandson Charles Wold Textor; and great-granddaughter Eleanor Wold Textor.
A memorial service was conducted in Rochester, Minnesota, in May.
A graveside service was held August 21, 2017, at English Grove Cemetery west of Fairfax, Missouri.
In honoring Barbara’s wishes and the family’s gratitude for the exceptional care these institutions provide, memorials are suggested to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research or Seasons Hospice in Rochester, Minnesota.
Local arrangements were under the direction of the Schooler Funeral Home, Fairfax/Craig.