Florence Moseley Orvis Simmons July 1, 1930 – January 16, 2022
Florence Orvis Simmons of Mesa, Arizona and Estes Park, Colorado passed in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 16, 2022 in the presence of her son (Bruce Orvis) and her sister (Cheryl Moseley).
Florence had long admired a poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash Poem” (the “dash” refers to the mark between the date of birth and the date of death).
Two stanzas of the poem are:
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all, was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth
The “dash” that represents Florence’s life covered a wide range of roles, activities, duties, and experiences.
…..she was a farmer’s wife living in Furnas County, Nebraska
…..she played the piano for Sunday church services for the Hendley Methodist Church for many years
…..she baked and decorated wedding and birthday cakes for a variety of clients
…..she endured the deaths of two husbands, a step-daughter, her parents, a brother, a sister and many other family members and friends.
……she was a cashier at Brodie’s Supermarket in Estes Park, Colorado
…..she loved her children and stepchildren
……she was a retail clerk at Estes Park establishments including Brownfields, The Intrigue, and Bobbi’sClothing
…..she loved to host friends for dinner
…..she loved listening to Brad Fitch sing and play guitar
…..she was always more interested in hearing how others were doing than in telling them how she was doing
…..her Berthoud-Dale, Colorado friends were very dear to her – Jane, Judy, Mike, Conny, Craig, John, Diane, Mary, Dick
…..she loved watching birds
…..she was a Sunday School teacher at the Hendley Methodist Church
……a favorite pastime was to sit on the patio in the Big Thompson Canyon and watch the river flow by
…..she thought of herself as “worthless” if she wasn’t working or doing something constructive
…..she hated oatmeal
…..she decorated excessively for Christmas
…..she liked jewelry and having her hair styled weekly
…..she was a fastidious housekeeper
…..she loved the music and jokes of Mark Lucas
…..she disliked going to Doctors and anything to do with a hospital
…..she loved the mountains of Colorado
…..despite living “in town” since 1967, she was still a “farm girl” at heart
…..she sometimes despaired that she had lived too long
…..she never wavered from the farmer’s schedule of eating breakfast early in the morning, dinner was at noon,
and supper was at 6 pm (or when the farm work was done for the day)
…..she always had the refrigerator, freezer, and deep freeze stocked with too much food (probably due to growing up in the shadow of the Great Depression)
…..she loved “knick-knacks” (and had way too many of them)
…..in retirement, she loved the warm weather of Arizona during the winter, but she was always counting the days when she could return to Colorado for the summer
…..she would have not liked that I said “she loved” so many things here; to her, you love only “people” and you like “things”
…..she loved her sister, Cheryl
…..she insisted on being at home in her final days – not a group home, not a Senior Citizen center, etc.
…..she seldom measured any recipe ingredient and the finished product still turned out great
…..her Mesa neighbors loved her
…..to her, TV was not to be watched during the day, only in the evening (except for daytime football and baseball games)
…..she could be hurting and in some pain, but you would never know it unless you paid very close attention
…..in her later years, Ron & Janet McClain (Nebraska) and Mike & Lori Fielding (Arizona) were special friends.
…..she was proud of her children
……she leaves behind many adoring family members including Susan, Bruce, Cheryl, JD, Kendall & family, Kendra & family, DJ and family, and Dallas. As well as a host of friends scattered around the country.
…..in her final days, she requested that a lamp on her bedroom dresser remain on at all times. The light bulb in that lamp burnt out minutes after she passed.
….mostly, Florence will be remembered as a kind, caring, compassionate and loving person. In her lifetime, she experienced triumph and tragedy and came through it all with a smile on her face and love in her heart. She has lived a good life and has earned her heavenly reward.
Chronological order of events in the life of Florence Orvis Simmons:
1930 Florence born to Helen and Truman Moseley in Cambridge, Nebraska
1947 Married Kenneth D. Orvis in Hendley, Nebraska
1948 Birth of Susan Orvis Simmons
1952 Birth of Bruce Orvis
1963 Kenneth Orvis passed away
1967 Married John Simmons; stepmother to Johnnie (JD), Debbie, and Diana Simmons
1975? Debbie Simmons Kinne passed away
1979 Florence and John moved to Estes Park, Colorado
1997 Florence and John moved to Mesa, Arizona
2008 John Simmons passed away
2022 Florence Simmons passed away
A “Celebration of Life” event to honor and remember Florence Orvis Simmons will be held at Berthoud-Dale Lane, Estes Park, Colorado this summer on a date to be determined.