Our father, Hughie Simmons, Jr. was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on January 30th, 2022, at the age of 91.
Born on October 1, 1930, Dad was the first-born and only boy of seven children to Hughie and Ruby Simmons in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a smart, inquisitive child with an early love of his country. At only 17-years-old he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the Korean War and eventually retired after 20+ years of service.
In 1952, Dad saw Erika Welz, our mother, across a dancehall in Germany. He asked her to dance and that began a love story that endured the test of time — 67 years! One that reflected lots of dancing and happy hours, many travels, a deep abiding love, and a family they adored.
Dad’s favorite pastimes included fishing, playing guitar and singing, gardening and yard work, and putting his tremendous handyman skills to work. His skillset combined with an easy going and humble personality made the perfect fit for the small fishing resort he and Erika purchased after retiring from the army. After eleven successful years with the resort, they decided it was time to enjoy retirement. They sold the resort and moved back to the Twin Cities to be closer to family.
His pride and joy was his family. With each year the love he poured into us magnified and because of that, he ingrained in us the importance of family and of loving each other well. Each of us, from his children to great-grandchildren, now tell the stories of the special ways in which he consistently reminded us of that love and pride through his visits, phone calls, and text messages. He leaves an irreplaceable place in our hearts.
Dad joins his parents, sister, and son in Heaven. He is survived by his loving wife, five daughters, one son, fifteen grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, 5 sisters, and a multitude of extended family.
We welcome you to join us for his funeral service at 11:30 a.m., Friday, March 4, 2022, at Mattson Funeral Home, 343 North Shore Drive, Forest Lake. Visitation will be held one prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be held at 1:30 p.m. with military honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. A reception will follow at TBD location.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in both dad and our brother, Brian’s, names.