Ruth Simmons

Jan 15th 2009

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SIMMONS Ruth Elsie Simmons passed away peacefully on January 15, 2009. Ruth was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 9, 1940. She graduated from Union High School in Grand Rapids in 1958 and the University of Michigan with a B.A. in 1962 and an M.A. in 1963. Her beloved husband of 43 years, Steven M., her parents, Sigurd and Florence Engman, and her brother, Lewis A. Engman preceded her in death. Surviving are her son, Clifford H. Simmons II (Jennifer) of Webberville; daughter, Christine R. West (Jeffrey) of Williamston; and seven grandchildren whom she adored, Tiffani, Brandi, Alexi, Katherine, Elizabeth, Steven II, and Louis. She also leaves a sister, Signe Engman of Grand Rapids; mother-in-law, Constance Simmons of Saline; sister-in-law, Patricia Engman of Anna Maria, Florida; brother-in-law, David Simmons of Saline; aunt, Frances Johnson of Grand Rapids; uncle, Kenneth Simmons (Lois) of Ann Arbor; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and wonderful friends. Mrs. Simmons began her career producing educational radio and television programming for the Akron Public Schools. After marrying Steven in 1964, Ruth worked together with Steven to found Omega Farms and build it into a successful agri-business. Mrs. Simmons served as the Corporate Secretary of Omega Farms for many years. Ruth was actively involved in church and community activities throughout her life. She served as a deacon of the Presbyterian Church of Okemos and also volunteered and held leadership positions in many service organizations including Lansing Town Hall, Sparrow Hospital Guild, Lansing Symphony Association, and the Red Cedar Garden Club. In addition, Ruth served as a 4-H project leader for several years. Ruth's greatest legacy is the love and devotion that she had for her family. She was a bright, hard-working, determined lady who dedicated herself to providing a wonderful, nurturing home for her husband, children, and grandchildren. Ruth was cherished by her family and her wisdom, unfailing strength, and generous, caring spirit will be deeply missed. Visitation will be at Gorsline-Runciman East Chapel in East Lansing on Wednesday, January 21 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral will take place for the celebration of Ruth's life on Thursday, January 22 at 11 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Okemos with the Rev. Dr. Robert Carlson, Jr., officiating. The family will receive relatives and friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow in Webberville Cemetery. For those who wish, contributions may be made to the Williamston Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 70, Williamston, MI 48895; or the Presbyterian Church of Okemos, 2258 Bennett Rd., Okemos, MI 48864, in lieu of flowers.