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Fredrick L. Simmons, 86

LEE, Mass. — Frederick Luther Simmons, 86, died Sunday, October 15, 2017, in Lee.

Fred was born on November 30, 1930, the youngest of seven sons of George E. Simmons and Martha (Moxon) Simmons. Because of his extremely low weight at birth, he was baptized in the fountain of the old Pittsfield General Hospital soon after he was born. He did survive but unfortunately his mother passed away on his first birthday. His father was remarried to Louise Steuben while he was still a very young child, and Louise became the only mother he remembered. 

Fred worked as a gas station attendant at the Sturgis Service Station in Lee during high school and was a 1949 graduate of Lee High School. Because he was under age at the time, he required his mother Louise's permission to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and did so in Hartford, Conn., in June 1949. He was honorably discharged after one year of service in June of 1950 as a World War II Veteran. During 1949, he also met his future wife, Barbara Dobson, at a blind date on Valentine's Day. They were married on October 1, 1950 in St. George's Church in Lee and were off to a week's honeymoon to Lake George, New York. 

Upon their return, Fred found a letter from "Uncle Sam" waiting for him and was called back to active duty, and sent to Korea as an Infantryman in December of 1950. He returned from Korea in February of 1952, when he met his daughter Marlene, who was born in May of the previous year while he was overseas. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal and the UN Medal and was released to inactive duty in April 1952. 

He and Barbara settled in the Lee area, where he took a job working at the Peter J. Schweitzer, later Kimberley-Clark paper mills. Originally renting a house in East Lee, they subsequently acquired property from the Cone Farm on Tyringham Road, and built a modular home on that property. They welcomed their second child, a son, Frederick Jr., in March of 1953 and another son, Kenneth, in August 1966. 

Along with his career as a papermaker, Fred also enjoyed hunting and fishing in the local area, joining social groups associated with paper mill employees, vegetable gardening, spending time with his large extended family, and being a great dad. Additionally, woodworking was a favored skill that he cultivated, and his woodworking projects can be found in every room of his home, and in the homes of his children and friends. He and Barbara loved to travel around the country and into Canada. They made numerous trips via automobile and air to see the sights and visit their daughter at her Navy duty stations, and their younger son, a former flight attendant and now a marketing assistant for a law firm. 

Fred and Barbara celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends in October 2010. He lost his beloved Barbara in September 2011, and lived on his own until the summer of 2015, when he moved into an assisted living community. 

He leaves his daughter, Marlene Simmons-Trefethen and her husband Kevin Trefethen of Laconia, New Hampshire; his son, Frederick Jr. and his wife Deborah of Lee; his son Kenneth of Portsmouth, Virginia; and grandchildren Sarah and Aaron Simmons of Pittsfield.

His daughter-in-law Charlotte (Furlong), Fred Jr.'s first wife and mother of Sarah and Aaron, passed away in 2002. 

His down to earth sense of humor, talent in accomplishing practical home improvement projects, and desire to ensure that friends and family felt welcomed and valued will be truly missed. 

Funeral notice: Funeral Services for Frederick Simmons Sr. will be on Friday, October 20, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Kelly Funeral Home in Lee with the Rev. Bill Neil, Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Lee, officiating. Burial will follow in Fairmount Cemetery. 

Visiting hours will also be on Friday morning from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Friends wishing may donations in his memory to the Berkshire Humane Society or to the Lee Youth Association in c/o the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA 01238.


Obituary Provided By: Kelly Funeral Home

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