Mary Patricia Simmons,
81, affectionately known as "Aunt Pat" by family and friends, died Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at St. Matthew Catholic Church followed by burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Visitation: 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services in Cedar Rapids with a 4:15 p.m. presentation by the Mercy Nursing Honor Guard.
She is survived by siblings, Bill (Linda) Simmons of Washington, Iowa, and Rose Stoneking of Cedar Rapids; sister-in-law, Barbara Simmons of Clarion; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Mary in death were her parents; grandparents; and brother, Richard Simmons.
Mary was born March 22, 1938, to Glen and Eileen (Cashman) Simmons. Eileen died when Mary was 3 years old. Her father was remarried four years later to Sarah Bryant Summer. Mary grew up on a farm and thoroughly enjoyed working side by side with her dad.
Graduating from Marengo High School and Mercy School of Nursing, she later earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Mount Mercy. Mary's nursing career involved stints at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids and Oelwein. She also worked in public health nursing, then as a nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Her final nursing position was with children with profound disabilities; she learned so much from them.
When her sister Rose became a single parent, Mary moved in with her and helped raise her three nieces: Joan, Janet and Jennifer. Mary was a devout Catholic, serving on many committees at St. Matthew as well as being a lector and eucharistic minister.
Her hobbies included rug hooking, bobbin lace and jigsaw puzzles. Mary also enjoyed bus trips taking in the scenery, long car rides in the countryside and picnic lunches at Ellis Park by the river and Noelridge Park by the flowers. She liked her monthly meetings at Panera with other retired school nurses.
Mary enjoyed following her nieces' and nephews' sports events, especially the past few years. She thoroughly enjoyed watching her 11-year-old great-nephew, Milo Hines, play baseball. Milo was her MVP in every game win or lose.
Integrity comes to mind when you think of Aunt Pat. She had a "use your common sense" approach to life and will be missed by all who knew her.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses from Hall-Perrine Cancer Center, and Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy for their care.
Memorials may be directed to St. Matthew Catholic Church or the Sisters of Mercy.
Please share your support and memories with Mary's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.