SIMMS, Elizabeth “Ann” passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Monday, July 15, 2019, two weeks shy of her 85th birthday. She is survived by the love of her life and husband of 64 years, Charles V. Simms.
Ann was a lifelong resident of Oakwood and was a member of Oakwood High School Class of 1952. She attended Dennison University and The Ohio State University, where she pledged Delta Gamma Sorority, an organization she supported for many years.
Charles and Ann were married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton on April 9, 1955. She began married life as an Air Force pilot’s wife. While stationed in Munich, Germany, they welcomed their first daughter, Elizabeth.
Upon returning to Dayton, Ann dedicated her life to making a home for her growing family. In addition to her role as a mother and grandmother, she was a vibrant member of the greater Dayton community. A lifelong member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, she played the carillon bells and served in the Altar Guild for 50 years. Ann was a member of The Junior League of Dayton, Dayton Opera Guild, Virginia Hollinger Memorial Tennis Club, the Dayton Country Club and Moraine Country Club.
Some of Ann’s many charitable and volunteer projects included Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton. Ann brought the first Habitat Women Build project to Dayton. She helped establish the Dayton Literacy Peace Prize. Other organizations dear to her heart included the Miami Valley Literacy Council, The Boy Scouts of America, Montgomery County Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, the Oakwood Education Foundation, The Little Exchange, St. Vincent de Paul, and World Vision.
Charles and Ann had a second home on Sanibel Island, Florida, where she was just as active. Ann was a member of St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, and the Captiva Island Yacht Club. She volunteered at The Ark, St. Michael’s charitable thrift shop.
Ann learned to play tennis as a young girl from Jimmy Evert, father of Chrissie Evert. Ann played year round, including the week before her passing. She counted her many tennis friends as among her most cherished.
Ann loved dancing with her husband and talking to small children. Other interests and hobbies included reading, birding, playing bridge, nature walks, and preparing meals for family and friends. She never went anywhere without at least one crossword puzzle in her handbag.
Ann and Charles traveled the world together, visiting and making friends on all seven continents. Over the years Ann drove a dogsled, a camel, and an elephant. She swam in bodies of water from the Dead Sea to the Antarctic Ocean. She kissed a dolphin, climbed the Great Wall, rafted down the Colorado River, and loved every minute of it. She also cherished quiet time at home, enjoying the bird and butterfly activity in her garden.
For almost fifty years, Ann sponsored numerous children in need through the global charity World Vision. Through her considerable powers of persuasion, she charmed away international obstacles in order to visit her “children” in Albania and Palestine, pushing past language barriers to exchange messages of love, the primary theme of her extraordinary, generous life.
Ann is preceded in death by her parents Irvin and Theresa Harlamert. In addition to her husband Charles, she is survived by her four children: Elizabeth Gutmann (Michael), Charles H. Simms (Patti), Leslie Nagel (Bruce), and Jennifer Simms, as well as twelve grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members and brother, Irvin Harlamert, Jr.
A memorial celebration of Ann’s life will be held August 3, 2019, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oakwood at 11:00 AM. Reception to follow at the Dayton Country Club, 555 Kramer Rd, Dayton, OH 45419. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton or World Vision.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com.