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Posted on Nov 24, 2014

Donald E. Simmons

Donald Eugene Simmons passed peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Yucaipa, Calif., surrounded by his family.

Don was born on June 18, 1945, in Wenatchee to Don and Irene (Zimbelman) Simmons while his father was serving in the Pacific Theater during WW II. Don grew up in Quincy and graduated from Quincy High School with honors in 1963. He then attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where he graduated in 1967. Immediately upon graduation, he attended the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, graduating with his medical doctor degree in 1971. He met his wife, Barbara Abrams, while attending medical school. They married in June 1969.

Don completed his internship and residency in ob/gyn at the San Bernardino County Medical Center. While an Intern, their daughter, Mara, was born.  Three years later during Don’s Residency, they were blessed with their second daughter, Amy.

In between his internship and residency, Don completed his service obligation to his country as a general medical officer in the U.S. Air Force at Norton AFB in San Bernardino.

Don spent his entire medical career practicing in Southern California. He estimated that he delivered between 5,000 and 6,000 babies during his 43-year career. Don loved caring for pregnant women and delivering their babies – except in the middle of the night! Don retired from practice in January 2014. While practicing medicine, Don also enjoyed involvement in multiple professional organizations, such as the American Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the San Bernardino County Medical Society and the American Medical Informatics Association. Don was also a diplomat  and a fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Don had many interests that occupied his free time. He loved electronics, woodworking and computers, but among his favorites were airplanes, helicopters and trains. Along with his friend Jack, he built a replica of the Galloping Goose from the D&RG Railway. He was hoping to build his own ultra-light aircraft in retirement.

Don is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Barbara; his daughter, Amy and her husband, Brian Beran; Don’s pride and joy were his twin 2-year-old grandsons, Jack and Nathan Beran; Don’s father, Don B. Simmons of Quincy; his sister, Sue Gabales of Manteca, Calif., and her husband, Ted Gabales; Don’s brother-in-law, Ronald E. Abrams, M.D., and his wife, Marina Abrams, N.D., both of Seattle; and a niece, three nephews, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.

Don was preceded in death by his daughter, Mara, in 1994; his mother, Irene, in 2008; and his mother and father-in-law, Malvin and Vicki Abrams.

Don will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Services for Don will be held on Dec. 6, 2014, at Yucaipa, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Donald E. Simmons, M.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund at Pacific Lutheran University, Office of Advancement, Tacoma, WA, 98447.  This scholarship has been initiated by Don and Barbara to support a pre-med student at PLU each year in perpetuity.