She was an authentic woman: genteel, courageous, prudent, enterprising, patient, loving, and caring. Her homegoing left a large and empty space against the sky over Gary, Indiana.
Born in Oklahoma CIty, Oklahoma, Anna L. SImmons came to live with relatives in this Steel CIty when she was orphaned at three years old. She was a student at both Froebel and Roosevelt Schools Later on she attended the Freeman School of Nursing and Indiana University Medical School in order to become a licensed Practical Nurse. Her training inspired a strong, abiding wish that she could one day build a first-class health facility for the care of the elderly.
By January 1, 1970 Anna was able to realize what had to become a twenty year dream. On that date, the first residents moved into the brand new setting of "The Simmons LOving Care Health Facility" on 21st Avenue between Georgia and Carolina Streets, In addition to offering excellent services and the best possible health care, the facility has meant employment for hundreds of Gary citizen over the years. It is a true tribute to the leadership and development skills of Anna L. Simmons that we now find the fourth generation of her family involved in the business.
Her interest in the well-being of others at all levels of their lives is reflected in the significant, broad, varied services she has given to the people of our community and state. Her legacy of service includes the following: member, Board of Directors and Treasurer, Thelma Marshall Children's Home; Member, Board of Directors and Treasurer, City of Gary Emergency Referral Agency; sponsor, East Side Little League Baseball team; sponsor, Tolleston COmmunity Bowling Team; member, State of Indiana Health Professional Bureau-Health Facility Administration; member, THe American Nursing Home Association and Life Member, NAACP.
Through her volunteer services with the order of the Eastern Star, she organized a scholarship fund to give aid to students in further their nursing education. During her tenure as President of The City Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, she gave leadership to scholarship and aid for college students amounting to more than $35,000. These organizations were dear to her heart. She thoroughly enjoyed participating in their goals and missions.
Through Simmons Loving Care, Anna Simmons gave lifesaving equipment to the Gary Police and Fire Department Ambulance Service.
She was an active, dedicated veteran member of Christian Valley Baptist Church giving freely of her time, energy and substance to the ongoing ministry of the church.
In 1997, Mrs. Anna L. Simmons received the highest award the Gary Community can bestow on a citizen. She was inducted into an enshrined in the Steel City Hall of Fame where her legacy will remain as an inspiration for generations yet to come.
She loved her family with deep and abiding love She took great joy in their growth and accomplishments. They, in turn, where devoted to her as family matriarch and the very best in motherhood. She considered the men who married into her family as sons rather than in-laws and those younger people with whom she interacted as god children.