By Paula Mitchell
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come; My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Those were the words taken from scripture that Pastor Jason Felici introduced his eulogy Saturday for Barbara Rexrode Simmons. (Both Pastor Jason Felici and Brittany Simmons Gumm shared eulogies on which much of the following are touched on in this article)
When visiting Barbara, one would be drawn to her picture window in her living room where the beauty of the country-side expanse could be enjoyed. This was a place that made one realize how God creates for each one of us to care for and enjoy to the fullest extent. She loved and tended her beautiful flowers, with her porch being in perfect condition – always.
Barbara’s life was not easy, but she certainly used her talents and gifts to serve others. She cared for her children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, teaching them life’s lessons along the way. (Her family pictures were placed all over her house.) As her granddaughter, Brittany Simmons Gumm, stated, “there were lots of lessons she taught them, such as never buy cheap make-up, no need for alcohol in one’s life (other than rum cake and communion wine), be presentable in public, never let guests leave without offering cookies, cake, ice cream, and Sprite, go to reunions, church homecomings, family nights and funerals, and class reunions, send cards for other’s birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, happy and sad moments and to attend church every week.”
Barbara was always on the go. She was the primary caregiver for her husband, Claude, visiting her brother, Clint, and sister, Dorothy, at the Pendleton Manor at least three times a week. Somehow, she found time to do this even though she still worked at the local bank. Not only that, she was the Sunday School treasurer, made food and baked a cake for every church function (making cruellers on Shrove Tuesday was a tradition she loved to fix for and to pass on to her family), collecting money at lawn parties, attending the annual Mt. Zion homecoming, and serving on the board of the Historic Preservation Association.
As a bank teller, she enjoyed those who brought cash to her window. The cash was readily received if it was counted out and placed properly from highest to lowest denominations, facing in the right direction! Working at the bank was really a social event for her, because she loved seeing people and talking with them—to truly know how they and their families were getting along. Her smile was contagious, and she soon became a friend to many!
Barbara took great pride in honoring and remembering where she came from, which included the people who helped shape her life along the way. She could claim some of her family roots through the Propst, Bowers and Swadley names back to the pioneer era. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1957, and on Sept. 21, 1957, at Moyers she married Claude Simmons. Together they had three children, Terry, Kent and Bradley.
She relied on the promises of God in her life. She had her priorities in order — first: The Lord and her faith, worshipping every Sunday, reading her Bible, having daily devotions, and praying for those on the prayer list; second: family, and third: friends.
The last piece of rum cake has been eaten, her flowers have faded and gone, but her memory will be treasured for a lifetime.
One of Barbara’s favorite hymns, which she requested for her funeral, was “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I am found, Was blind, but now I see.”
Sympathy is extended to Barbara’s family.
Life’s little instructions to make one’s day better include the following:
- Travel whenever possible.
- Smile often and be honest.
- Stay humble.
- Never stop learning.
- Take lots of photos.
On Feb. 6, the Snow Moon will be seen. It is commonly called Snow Moon or the Hungry Moon. Typically, February is the snowiest month, and as a result, Native Americans found it to be the most difficult month in which to hunt, prompting the name Hungry Moon.
Rain showers were brought on by warmer temperatures. It sure feels like a touch of spring.
Quotes for the week are as follows:
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” — Melody Beattie
“Problems never stay long, they just put the signature in the experience book of your life and move away.” — Unknown
“You can’t get too much winter in the winter” — Robert Frost
“Good friends, good looks, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” — Mark Twain
“When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.” — Unknown
It is so much better to sit by the fire to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
“Pidge” Anderson continues to do consultations with her doctors.
Michael Fisher spent the weekend with his grandparents, Bob and Brenda Fisher. Together, they went to Franklin to see the fifth- and sixth-graders play ball, of which Michael participated.
Last weekend, Evelyn Varner spent the weekend with her daughter, Judy Costello of Verona, Virginia. Together, on Monday, they attended the funeral of Philip Smith.
Vance Grogg celebrated his first birthday on Jan. 31. Happy birthday! Madison Grogg will celebrate her birthday on the 13th. Visitors of Rosalee Grogg were Marleta Wimer and Terri Grogg.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin waggers are the following:
- It takes about 70 pieces of wood to make a violin.
- The first watch had one hand and was so heavy it hung from a belt around the waist.
- The apple is a member of the roe family.
- Everybody in China celebrates their birthday on New Year’s Day.
- It takes Saturn 29.5 earth years to revolve around the sun.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: “Pidge” Anderson, Roger and Joan Ashley, Mercedes Aumann, Vernon “Fuzzy” Baldwin, Nathan Beachler, Lynn Beatty, Bill Brackman, the Tom Burgoyne family, Jed Conrad, Rachel Felton, Donna Fleisher, Ron Gilkerson, Lola Graham, Marvin Hartman, Steve and Armanda Heavner, Gary and Jackie Hills, Virgil Homan, Jr., Myrtle Hoover, Debbie Horst, Anna Gae Hughes, Doris Hull, Alice Johnson, Kim Kline, Richard Judy, Melissa Lambert, Robert Lambert, Rex Landis, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Betty Mallow, Roger and Skip Mallow, Jamie Mitchell, the Eldon Moats family, Melvin Moats, Aaron Nelson, Ruth Nelson, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, the Pond family, Shirley Pratt, Kathy Propst, Sheldon Propst, Verla Puffenbarger, Gary Rexrode, Jason Rexrode, Jimmy Rexrode, Art Sawyer, the Barbara Simmons family, Robbie Sites, Ona Smith, the Ed Troutman family, Sandra Vandevander, Pam Rexrode, Max Rodriguez, Donna Ruddle, Annie Simmons, Barry and Phyllis Simmons and Davey Simmons.