Dr. Gerald Simmons, EDD, 66, of Moss Bluff, LA, passed away peacefully at 3:20 PM on Monday, December 27, 2010 at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family and friends.
Dr. Simmons was born August 8, 1944 in Lake Charles, LA, where he lived all of his life. He was a 1962 Graduate of LaGrange Senior High and graduated from McNeese State University with his degree in education. He also received a Master's degree from McNeese and later received his Doctorate in Education in 1997 from NOVA University. He started his teaching career at W.W. Lewis Middle School in 1967, moving to Reynaud Middle School from 1968 to 1969, and then to LaGrange Junior High from 1969 to 1974. He worked as principal at Kaufman Elementary from 1974 to 1983, moving on to open Gillis Elementary where he was principal from 1983 to 1986 and finally transferring to Henry Heights Elementary in 1986, where he retired in 1999. Dr. Simmons was instrumental in bringing the CODOFIL French Immersion Program to Gillis and Henry Heights Elementary Schools. He was a long time member of Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity and in 1995 he received the Calcasieu Parish Reading Council State Principal of the Year Award. Dr. Simmons was also a member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He will always be remembered as an educator, but most importantly as a loving husband, father and poppy.
Dr. Simmons is survived by his wife, Susan Bertrand Simmons of Moss Bluff; daughter, Laura Landry and husband Shannon of Lacassine; son, Steven Simmons and wife Annette of Lake Charles; grandchildren, Gerald Joseph Landry and Elizabeth Landry; siblings, Kathy Clark and husband Buz of Sulphur, Judy Simmons of Natchitoches, LA, Jeanette Stockman of Lake Charles, and Vernon Simmons of Oregon; close friends, John Moore and Odell Dyer, both of Lake Charles; Godchild, Tracie Wilfer of Lake Charles; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Irma Dyer Simmons; and best friend, Richard "Butch" Roberts.
His funeral service will be at 10:00 AM on Friday, December 31, 2010 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Father Charles McMillin will officiate. Burial will follow in Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral Home on Thursday from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM with a rosary at 6:00 PM. Visitation will continue at the funeral home on Friday from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM.