Raymond A. Simmons Jr., 88, of White Pine, went home to be with the Lord on September 10, 2022, with his loving family by his side at Trillium House in Marquette.
Ray was born November 22, 1933, in Ironwood to Raymond A. Sr and Alice (Saippa) Simmons. He graduated from St. Ambrose High School in 1951. Ray worked at Molen Brothers and Friedman News agency until drafted into the US Army in 1953 during the Korean War. He proudly served as an expert marksman and trained Army Rangers. Ray married the love of his life Gloria (Niemi) Simmons on January 10, 1959, in Ironwood. He worked at Evinrude Motors and Inland Steel in Milwaukee. While there he earned his degree as an Industrial Engineer from the Milwaukee Institute of Technology. In 1967 Ray and Gloria returned to the UP to raise their family. Ray started his longtime career at White Pine Copper Company in September 1968 and retired in 1993 after 25 years. He was devoted to his Catholic faith and his family. He was kind and generous and loved all children; his door and cookie drawer were always open, and he would give the last bill out of his wallet to anyone in need. Ray loved nature and wildlife, especially partridge, and loved living in “God’s Country”. He enjoyed a cold beer on occasion, a good cup of coffee, watching boxing and listening to Hank Williams Sr.
Ray is survived by his wife Gloria of 63 years and his daughters Gloria Sheck (Ray Lemire) of Palmer, Julie (Raphael) Soumis of Chassell, Alicia (Craig) Burgess of Marquette and Paula (Rod) Hubert of Combined Locks Wisconsin, sixteen grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sister Marguerite (Al) Koski of Negaunee, brother Brian Simmons of Wakefield, and many beloved nieces and nephews. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son Raymond Allen, daughter Linda (Jim) Favero, brothers James Simmons and Ronald Simmons, sister Alicia Schmalz, brother-in-law and best friend Ted Schmalz, brother and sister-in-law Dick and Sandi Niemi, nephew Teddy Schmalz, and grandson Justin Weirauch.
Many thanks to all of the kind hospice staff at Trillium House and Lake Superior Hospice. Our beloved ‘Dad’, ‘Grandpa Bear’, ‘Chocco-Grampa’, will forever be missed, but would want us to “Keep on Keepin’ on!”.
Friends may call at St. Jude Catholic Church in White Pine on Saturday, September 17, beginning at 10:00 am EST. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am EST with Father Michael Jacobus, as celebrant. A reception will follow in St. Martha’s Hall. Pallbearers will be his sons-in-law and grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trillium Hospice House, 1144 Northland Drive, Marquette, MI 49855 or St. Jude Catholic Church, P.O. Box 427, White Pine, MI 49971.
Cane Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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