Elizabeth Ann Simmons
Born February 3, 1955, Lincoln, Nebraska
Died May 17, 2018, Vermillion, South Dakota
The proud granddaughter of German-Russian and Irish-Canadian immigrants and descendant of early Jamestown settlers, Beth was a passionate advocate for justice and equality. As an artist and educator, she wore many professional hats throughout her life, in an open-ended list to which she was constantly adding: painter, paper-maker, waitress, graphic artist, desktop publisher, disc jockey, educational technologist, editor, counsellor, statistician, advocate. Each new hat came because she believed that there are no things you don't know how to do, only things you don't know how to do yet, and she devoted her energies and endless curiosity to proving that true. But through all of them shone her concern for others and her dedication to making a better world.
Beth believed and participated in both informal and formal education throughout her life, achieving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Contemporary Media and Journalism in 1987, Master of Science in Technology for Training and Development in 2004, And Specialist in Education, also in TTD, in 2007. But she never stopped teaching or learning.
She lives on in the love of all whose lives she touched and her work will continue. She is preceded in death by her father, Fred Robert Simmons, and mother, Martha Louise (Klaus) Simmons. She is survived by her husband, Christopher Jacques Hoover; sister, Lynda Marie (Simmons) Hopkins; nieces Jennifer Hopkins Pepin and Katherine Hopkins Buckley; informally-adopted son Abul Shaifullah and daughter Musheera Anis as well as grand-daughters Fatima, Bismallah, and Eman Aleman; foster son and daughter Michael and Sarah Fletcher; and exchange daughters Raghda Mashal and Mayada Ali.
We will celebrate Beth's life and memory on the afternoon of Thursday, May 31, at the United Church of Christ, Congregational in Vermillion, South Dakota, at 2 p.m. Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Amnesty International.