Raymond Eugene Simmons
Raymond Eugene Simmons
His boots were always worn out with miles of stories to tell. He wore Wrangler blue jeans for every occasion. His knuckles stayed callused from the fights he’d won and the tough jobs he’d done. Born November 26, 1953, in Klamath Falls, Ore., he spent his early years playing quarterback for the football team. His sense of adventure and his “don’t tell me I can’t” attitude would lead him to a love for racing motocross bikes. His full-throttle lifestyle earned him injuries and broken bones that should’ve taken him to the hospital instead of across the finish line, but his determination earned him shelves upon shelves of trophies. He helped his father manage a Yamaha motorcycle shop in Bend, Ore., before the lumber industry would settle him in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming. It was lumber that brought him to Wyoming but after earning a degree in petroleum engineering, oil refineries would keep his interest from then on.
Ray spoke the language of dogs and found an intimate friendship in the ones always beside him. He kept life simple and didn’t desire for more than he needed. His house was filled with the bare essentials only—a style unlike the abundant and materialistic way of many today. He was strong-willed and stubborn and his character was unwavering. You always knew what you were getting. It was refreshingly consistent in today’s flaky society. His love and friendship was everlasting and unconditional.
Ray struggled to ask for help but was always the first to offer it, especially to someone broke down on the road. The word ‘
can’t’ ”wasn’t in his vocabulary”, he flouted rules, he kept a roll bar and a wench on his truck and he used them well. He took a gun and fishing pole to the mountains every chance he got and told many if he could die alone in the mountains he’d be a happy man.
The old cowboy got down from his saddle one last time July 19, 2015, in Grand Junction, Colo. He crammed 60 years worth of memories in his first 30 years and spent his last days grateful for the life he had lived. Ray kept regret for the apologies he didn’t make but never for the chances he did not take.
Ray’s family would like his life to teach you this: Be simple. Be thankful. Be helpful. Be daring. Be passionate. Be stubborn.
He is survived by three siblings, Ruth Cox, Ron Simmons, and Shar (Bobby) Moore; three children, Steve (Heather) Simmons, Nicole (Tad) Anderson, and Jackie Simmons; and four grandchildren, Brooklyn, Bryce, Cole, and Chase. He was preceded in death by his parents, Forrest Junior Simmons and Margaret June Markham.
Friends and family are invited to share memories as Ray’s ashes are spread amongst the pinecones and sagebrush where he always felt at home in the Shirley Mountains of Wyoming. (Date pending, Summer 2016)