Cover photo for Charles W. Simmons - Dec. 9, 1931 To October 3, 2020's Obituary

Charles W. Simmons - Dec. 9, 1931 To October 3, 2020

Charles W. Simmons - Dec. 9, 1931 To October 3, 2020


Chuck (aka “CW”, “Bud” and “Grandpa”) was born in Boise on December 9, 1931 to Frank and Ida Belle Simmons of Reynolds Creek, Owyhee County, Idaho. He attended the Arena Valley and Roswell schools, graduating from Parma High in 1949. He worked on the family farm in Roswell irrigating, driving tractor, shoveling ditch, cutting hay and shoeing horses. At Bird Gulch, near Pine, he worked in his family’s logging operation, and later helped his dad pack hunters and fishermen out of the Lowman and Deadwood Reservoir areas. He worked on the Cruickshank sheep ranch during the late 40’s for $6/day (plus room and board) hauling chopped hay and feeding sheep.


Chuck was drafted into the Army in December of 1952 and sent to Fort Lawton, Washington. Upon discharge he enrolled at the University of Idaho, and was a Vandal at heart (although he later supported the BSU Broncos as well). He graduated in 1963 with a BS in Business Administration.

To pay for college, Chuck worked summers for the Forest Service in Grangeville on the Nez Perce National Forest. In the summer of 1958 he worked at Bechler Falls in Yellowstone Park. They furnished him with a saddle horse and some mules to clear trails and haul firefighting equipment in and out of the backcountry, and he was able to get in some good fishing while earning enough money for the next school year.

After graduating, Chuck went to work as a cost accountant for Idaho Power during the construction of the Brownlee Dam and Oxbow Reservoir. In November of 1960 he married Judy Hawkins of Filer, Idaho. He then began his career at Albertsons Food Centers in their accounting department and was instrumental in implementing their data processing department, as well as the design and install of the first automated checkout systems in the stores. After 22 years he retired from Albertsons, then accepted a job as Director of Data Processing for Ada County for the next six years. He threw some legendary parties after the Boise State football games during the 70’s and 80’s in the home he helped build on the rim of the Warm Springs Mesa.

Chuck and Judy divorced in 1993 and Chuck enjoyed his retirement to the fullest, with adventures in Australia, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Alaska and all over the U.S. – hunting, fishing and golfing trips with the guys, annual adventures with his siblings, together with the love and companionship of his next-door neighbor Betty Powers for many years. In addition to his weekly gin rummy games or a game of pitch with his great assortment of pals, he loved his morning coffee gatherings with his brother-in-law Jerry Hawkins and the rotating crew, and occasionally his brother-in-law Bob King. He spent many years lowering his golf handicap, and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of random facts and dates (like the name of any Kentucky Derby winner – ever!) and a sharp sense of humor that never wavered. One night when a stranger in an Idaho City bar mistook him for Arnold Palmer, he was more than happy to sign Arnie’s autograph – and accept a free drink.

Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, his younger brother Larry (Linda) Simmons in 2014, sister Bonnie Nichols in 2018, and brother-in-law Rex Nichols in 2019. In addition to his inlaws, nieces and nephews, and many, many friends, he is survived by his children: Craig Simmons and Ann (Darin) DeAngeli, both of Boise, and two “favorite” grandchildren: Frank DeAngeli of Boise and Emma DeAngeli in Durham, North Carolina.

We are grateful to Betty Powers for making the last many years of Chuck’s life so enjoyable. With her unfailing kindness, love, adventurous spirit and delightful sense of humor, she enabled Chuck to remain in his home that he loved until his last round of Jeopardy. Thank you also to her family Sean and Audra Powers, John and Lucinda Walker and Ted and Abbie Walker for their kindness to Chuck over the years. Chuck enjoyed professional and diligent medical care for many years with Dr. Eric Jacobsen and his team at the VA. Doctors Hospice of Boise helped him navigate the last few months of his life, and we appreciate the many kindnesses and professionalism of Sophia, Shannon, Chad and Nurse Irene.

There will be a private family burial at the Veterans Cemetery, wherein Chuck staked out a nice view for his final resting place. He did not wish for a big funeral or fuss, and suggested that as a celebration of his life you raise a glass of scotch in his honor, and perhaps reflect upon the words of Marty Robbins, one of Chuck’s favorites:

From this valley they say you are leaving
We shall miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For you take with you all of the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while

We shall miss those blue eyes and sweet smile. Happy trails Chuck!

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