Lee Thomas Simmons, our loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away on September 18, 2023. He was 97 years old.
Lee was born July 20, 1926, in Lake Shore, Utah. He was raised on a farm and was the youngest of 9 children. In middle school, he found a love for history and politics which left him with a desire to achieve a life outside of the farm. He worked tirelessly from age 15 to achieve this goal.
At 17 years old, with the second world war raging, Lee heard about the opportunity to be a radio technician with the Navy. It required applicants to pass the Eddy test for admission and then specialty training in electronics. The day after he heard about it, Lee took off without telling his parents to take the test. He passed the test and enlisted in the Navy. After enlisting, he had months of rigorous training in math and electronics. He was not immediately successful in the program but by the end he was in the top quarter of the class. This is how Lee did everything in life, with single-minded determination and fearlessness. Once he set his mind to something, it was best to get out of his way—unless, of course, you were his loving wife, Beulah.
Lee met Beulah Monk in 1947 just after he left the Navy. Beulah was the sister of Lee’s best friend, Calvin. They married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on September 3, 1947. They quite literally built a life together from the ground up. When they got married, they started their life together with only a few assets: a phonograph, a typewriter, and a car.
Shortly after they married, Lee enrolled at Brigham Young University. Until their children were born, Beulah drove from Kamas to Provo everyday so Lee could attend his classes. She read to him as they drove and typed his notes for him when they got home. When Lee graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in accounting and a minor in economics, Beulah was there to support him, despite being just six days away from giving birth to their second child. For 57 years Beulah was a constant support to him in his work, church, and family life. They dreamed together and then worked together to make those dreams a reality. Together they had five children - Cal, Colette, Marv, Ron, and Marilyn - who were the center of their life.
Lee had a fulfilling career in financial management. He started his professional career as an IRS agent in Las Vegas, Nevada, before he transferred to Hill Air Force base in Layton, Utah. He then went to work for Thiokol where he was the budget department head and helped to negotiate contracts related to the rocket motors that went into the Minuteman Missile and the Apollo rockets. After Thiokol, he went to work at EIMCO where he helped negotiate government contracts related to mining and military equipment. He finished his career at the LDS Church where he helped move the church into the computer era.
Lee had a number of hobbies that he was passionate about. Lee passed on the importance of education to his family, but he also loved working with his hands. He renovated many homes, loved to take things apart and rebuild them, and built a workshop in his backyard. He loved working in the workshop with his sons and grandsons. However, his favorite hobby was flying. Lee learned to fly in the 1950s and passed this passion onto his sons.
Lee was also dedicated to his faith. He served in a number of church callings over the years including as bishop and branch president.
After Beulah died in 2005, Lee married Norma Hansen and they enjoyed many happy years together before her death in 2020.
Lee worked hard his entire life, loved his family, and his faith. He was proud of the life that he built and the legacy that he has left behind. He is predeceased by his wife Beulah Monk, his siblings Clayson, Jennie, Verda, Priscilla, Annie, Leora, Mae, Dell, and his daughter-in-law Sharon Simmons. Lee is survived by his five children Cal (Janice), Colette Miller, Marv (Patty), Ron, and Marilyn (Rick) Olsen, 24 grandchildren, 63 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. Lee was loved by his family and we will miss him. We know that he is happy to be reunited with the love of his life, Beulah, after so many years apart.
On Monday, September 25, 2023, there will be a viewing from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the Canyon Park Ward House located at 1190 East Bountiful Hills Drive, Bountiful, Utah 84010. The viewing will be followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Bountiful City Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin about 10-15 minutes prior to the service and will be posted below.