Mary Louise Simmons, 80, of Neoga, Ill., formerly a longtime resident of Arnold, died Jan. 1, 2020, at her home. Born Nov. 23, 1939, in Jackson, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Rebecca Louise Givens-Campbell. She earned her high school diploma in 1972 and went on to graduate from Jefferson College in 1979 with an associate degree in nursing. She became a registered nurse first assistant and worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood for more than 35 years before retiring. She was active with the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN), with whom she traveled attending seminars in places like San Francisco, Hawaii and even Germany. She was a strong woman of faith and a member of the General Baptist Church in Barnhart and of Twin Rivers Worship Center in St. Louis. She enjoyed working in her garden, the companionship of her dogs, Neeko and Shorty, and spending time with her family and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Perry Simmons Sr., whom she married on Aug. 13, 1954, and who died in 2000.
She is survived by five children: Patricia “Patti” (Jerry) Santoyo of Fulton, Anita Louise (James) Austin Sr. of Valley Park, Perry (Cindi) Simmons Jr. of Imperial, Mary Elizabeth Koterba of Hastings, Mich., and Tamara Jean (Duane) Larson of Robinson, Ill.; 10 grandchildren: Jerome, James, Joshua, Anthony, Nathaniel, Meaghan, Caitlyn, Catherine, Michael and Rachael; and 10 great-grandchildren: Makaela, Adelyne, Tre, Aiden, Jaxon, Brooklyn, Ace, James, Josh and Ace.
She was preceded in death by two daughters: Terri Lynn Straub and Susan Renee “Suzie” Lampe; a brother: Franklin; and a grandson: Jesse Austin.
A committal service will be held at 1:45p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, 2900 Sheridan Road in south St. Louis County. A celebration of life will follow from 2-7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 4200 Midamerica Lane at I-55 and Butler Hill Road in south St. Louis County. Arrangements are under the direction of Goodwine Funeral Home in Robinson, Ill.