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Obituary

GEORGE JOSEPH SIMMONS (published on September 04, 2009)



GEORGE JOSEPH SIMMONS Capt. George Joseph Simmons, (Ret'd RCAF/CF) passed away at the Hospice Unit of the Grey Nuns General Hospital in Edmonton, AB, on August 31, 2009, after a ten year battle with unremitted cancer. George is survived by: his wife Helen; his children, George Joseph Buddy , Deanna and Tim(othy); his brother Bobby (Giselle) Simmons (Winnipeg, MB); and his sisters-in-law Patricia Hiscock (Halifax, NS), and Jane (Paddy) Donnelly (Angus, ON). George is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents (Bob and Bride Simmons, of St. John's, NF); his sister, (Marie Snook, of St. John's, NF); and his parents-in-law, (Vera and James Dempsey, of Gander, NF). George was born in St. John's, in The Dominion of Newfoundland, and was educated by the Christian Brothers at St. Patrick's Boys' School, St. Joseph's Juniorate (New York) and the University of Manitoba. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (1955) and while stationed in Torbay, NF, he met Helen Dempsey in St. John's. George and Helen were married at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John's and within a year, they were transferred to Winnipeg. After a brief stint as a civilian in Winnipeg, George re-upped with the Canadian Forces in 1967; through his military tenure, he: had opportunity to participate in United Nations Peace Keeping efforts; served with Search Rescue units; was posted to base operations at CF Bases in W. Germany and CFE-HQ; and he served on the Dew Line. George was an instructor at CFANS and worked at Air Command HQ. He served also as the Base Drug Alcohol Education officer at CFB Winnipeg for ten years. He retired to Alberta in 1990, with his CD2. For five years post his retirement from the CF, George worked in the field of Addictions Education with AADAC and the Edmonton Maximum Penitentiary - positions to which he was very dedicated. George was a very proud lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus; he was an active member of St. Albert Parish (since 1991), including being a member the parish senior choir. He formed many friendships, both within St. Albert Parish, and with members of Holy Family Parish. George was also a foster parent, sponsoring dozens of children worldwide over the past four decades. Not once during this past ten years was George ever heard to say Why me? He was always gracious and when asked how he's doing, generally responded with doin' good (or) fair to middlin, and how are you? The Simmons family gratefully acknowledges the kindness and support of: Dr. Deborah Rowand (Family Physician); Dr. Charlie Butts and the staff at the Cross Cancer Institute; Dr. Katherine Kavanagh (formerly of the U of A Hospitals); Dr. David Bigam (U of A Hospitals); Dr. Riaz (Sturgeon Community Hospital); Dr. Barton and the staff of 9Y, Grey Nuns General Hospital, hospice unit; Jerry Stack (Holy Family Parish); the Priests from St. Albert Catholic Parish and the Holy Family Parish; the pharmacy staff at the St. Albert Superstore; the St. Albert Home Support Team; and the family and friends who have been so supportive during this lengthy journey. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Albert Catholic Church, 0900hours, 5 September, 2009. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Grey Nuns General Hospital Hospice Unit 9Y, in care of Caritas Hospitals Foundation, 3C60 11111 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, Alberta T5K 0L4. Connelly-McKinley Ltd., ST. ALBERT FUNERAL HOME, 9 Muir Dr., St. Albert, Alberta, 780-458-2222


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