OBITUARY: Effie L. Simmons

Harvey County Now

Effie L. Simmons, 97, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Lawrence.

She was born on Feb. 18, 1925, in rural Coffey County, the daughter of Oliver and Fanny (Skillman) Kelly.

Effie married Frederick Earle Simmons on Dec. 26, 1944, in Burlington; he preceded her in death on Aug. 14, 2003. Effie graduated from the KU School of Nursing; she worked in various public health and hospital nursing roles. In 1979, she obtained special training to conduct child health assessments for Douglas County Health Department.

Following college, Effie and Earle raised their children at Overbrook, Wilson, Burlington and Lawrence. Effie was a farm girl and loved nature. She was a lifelong learner who knew about birds, butterflies and wildflowers, and she shared her interests with her children and grandchildren. Besides raising five children, she was an accomplished quilter, crocheter and seamstress; family members treasure her handiwork. Effie also created “iris folded” greeting cards. Her original card collections were selected winners in Presbyterian Manor’s Art is Ageless 2012 and 2015 juried competitions. As a young child, she learned to memorize poems. Her speech was sprinkled with memorized stanzas and her own poems about everyday life. In 2017, her granddaughter, Kelly Bohling, helped her publish a book of her favorites, “A Bushel and a Peck.”  Effie was a member of the United Methodist Church.

Effie was preceded in death by her parents, brother Glen Kelly and three sisters, Helen Akers, Edith Houser and Lydia Allen.

Survivors include her children, Nancy Martin and Dr. Robert (Nancy Blindauer) Simmons of Newton, Brian (Sheryl) Simmons and Steven (Susan) Simmons of Lawrence, Alan (Michelle Slaughter) Simmons of Lyons, Colo.; 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials in Effie’s name to Lawrence VNA Hospice, which may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, Kan., 66044.

A graveside inurnment for Effie L. Simmons, Lawrence, is planned for April 1 at the Waverly Cemetery. For more information or to post a condolence, go to

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