Henry F. Simms
Henry F. (Hank) Simms, born May 25, 1923, loving son of Frank W. and Margaret A. Simms, adoring husband of Elinor E. (Moe) Simms and the beloved father of Shannon Simms of Wilmington, N.C., Stefanie Simms of Los Angeles, Kevin Simms of Salt Lake City and Frank Simms of Las Vegas, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013.
He is further survived by his two grandsons, Kyle Christopher Simms and Gage Henry Simms of Salt Lake City.
He was predeceased by his dear wife, Moe; his brother, Frank A. Simms, of Stamford, Conn.; and his sister, Sally Simms, of John’s Island, Fla.
Hank was born and reared in Tulsa, Okla., graduating from Tulsa Central High School in 1940. He attended Oklahoma University where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and after basic training in Sheppard Field, Texas, was sent to Officers Training School in Boca Raton, Fla., thence to Yale University where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Following assignment to a training station in Mountain Home, Idaho, he joined a B-24 Bomber Group, the 456th, in Muroc Dry Lake, Calif.
Shortly afterwards, the Group was ordered to Stornara, Italy, where Simms was successively an Assistant Squadron Engineering Officer, Head of the Technical Inspectors at Group Headquarters (in which capacity he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant) and finally a Squadron Engineering Officer. In the latter position, he was promoted to Captain.
At war’s end, he returned to Oklahoma University and later attended Tulsa University. With the encouragement of his brother, Frank, he entered the field of radio announcing, and after broadcasting jobs in Tulsa, Wichita, Kan., and Dallas, he moved to Los Angeles, and thence to Honolulu. In 1951, during the Korean War, he was recalled to the Air Force and promoted to Major. Being an avid golfer, he joined Oahu Country Club during that period. Soon afterwards, he met his wife to be, Moe, while they were greeting arriving mutual friends at the Honolulu airport. The two were married in 1954 in Oklahoma City.
After one more year in Hawaii, the Simmses moved to Los Angeles in order that Hank might enter the freelance radio and television announcing fields. He continued to work in that capacity in Los Angeles for the next 25 years, including announcing “The Johnny Carson Show,” “The Academy Awards” for 26 years, “The Emmy Awards,” “The Golden Globes,” and some 15 Quinn Martin Productions shows including “The FBI,” “Cannon,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” and “Barnaby Jones.” The Simmses became affiliated with the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, and Hank served as President of the club in 1979-80.
He retired to John’s Island in Vero Beach, Fla., where he and his wife lived for 10 years and pursued their shared interests in golf and bridge. In order to be closer to their California-based children, they later moved to Hot Springs. Joining Belvedere Country Club there, they both continued to follow their mutual loves of golf and bridge.
Despite Hank’s strong attachment to the Catholic Church and his weekly duties as Lector for the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity at St. Michael’s, he has requested there be no funeral or memorial service in his behalf.
And in lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to either the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity or to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation UCLA in Los Angeles.