Shirley Ann Simmons, 88, longtime Clinton resident, passed away peacefully at her home, following a brief illness, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, surrounded by family.
Mrs. Simmons was born at Fort Lewis, Wash., on Sept. 5, 1930, to Frank and Roseanna (Perra) Novarra. At an early age she moved with her family to Fort Casey, where her father was stationed at the time. The family moved once again to Freeland, where she attended and graduated from Langley High School.
On June 26, 1954, Shirley married her high school sweetheart, Gordon P. Simmons. Gordon, along with his brother Melvin, started Simmons Garage and Towing in Clinton. Shirley commuted for almost 10 years working in the office at the Seattle Times. She then became the bookkeeper for Simmons Garage, greeting customers like old friends all the while keeping the business running smoothly. She was a longtime member of St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, the Ryder Club, and volunteered helping with PTA and 4-H clubs and anyone else who would ask.
Shirley’s heart was so full of love she needed to share even more. She and Gordon built their home on Humphrey Road and adopted their daughters, Sonya in 1961, and Sharon in 1965. This made her family and her heart complete. She raised her girls with a strong but gentle hand being sure they were prepared for the world outside, and never once letting them forget how much she loved them.
Shirley was generous and loving, helping many people in the community if they needed a hand up. Her door was always open with coffee on and fresh cookies on the plate. She spent her spare time gardening, sewing and knitting but mostly being there to support her family with all their activities.
Shirley served the Lord, her church, her family and her community with love, grace and humility and she will be greatly missed.
Shirley is survived by her husband Gordon; daughters Sonya Simmons (Gary Peterson) of Freeland and Sharon Eickhoff of Clinton; two grandchildren, Makenzie and Jonathon Peterson; two brothers, Francis Novarra (Alice) of Clinton, and Ralph Novarra (Noella), of Rochester, Wash.; also, numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Dolores Wolgamott and Patricia Sampair, and by one brother, Vincent Novarra, and her son-in-law, Gary Eickhoff.
A funeral mass will take place at St. Hubert Catholic Church 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, Rev. Rick Spicer, celebrant. Interment will be at St. Peter’s Cemetery, in Clinton. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to WhidbeyHealth Hospice 101 N. Main St., Coupeville, WA 98239
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com