Kevin John Simmons
Following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in mid-April, the death occurred peacefully at the Provincial Palliative Care Centre on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 of Kevin J. Simmons of Point Prim, age 62 years. Beloved husband of Brenda (Ryan). Incredible father of Janna Simmons and Matthew Reagh. Brother of Georgina Goodland (Mel), Ellis (Karen) and Dolores Ftichar (Jim), and brother-in-law to Karen, Carolyn, Pat, Annette and Kevin Ryan. Son-in-law of Mona Ryan. Predeceased by his dear son Jacob "Jake" Simmons on June 12, his parents Rupert and Pearl (Cochran) Simmons, Rupert’s second wife Marjorie Stiles as well as his father-in-law Patrick Ryan. Resting at Hillsboro Funeral Home, Stratford. Due to public health restrictions a private visitation and graveside service will be held. A memorial Mass and celebration of life will be held for Kevin and Jacob at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Jacob Simmons Sports Scholarship Fund (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/50205), Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society (www.craigscause.ca) or Provincial Palliative Care Centre.
From Brenda and Janna;
Kevin was a kind, gentle, patient – very patient, special man. A man of high integrity, his quiet determination, concern for others, generosity and true selflessness were cornerstones of his personality and approach to life. Kevin was a devoted husband and father, and made lifelong friends along his journey. He attended Moncton High School, then the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dal AC) where he graduated in Tech. Engineering. He worked in agricultural equipment sales and other aspects of agriculture before starting his own agricultural tile drainage company in 1987. The company operated in both New Brunswick and PEI since then, and Kevin took pride in his work. He was always interested in farming, and began cranberry farming in the 1990s. Kevin built a cranberry bog in Point Prim in 2000, and learned while sharing information with other farmers about how to grow the crop in our conditions. He began expanding the farm in Belfast by planting tart cherries, highbush blueberries, black currants, raspberries and apples. He planned to retire from the tile drainage business and grow and market the fruit crops in his retirement. We missed his experience and guidance over the past few months as his illness made it difficult and then impossible for him to be on the land, but we know he would have enjoyed seeing the fruits of his labour being harvested and sold in our little farm market and to other markets across PEI. He had a passion for agriculture and for growing high quality, affordable food.
He loved to travel, and got to do more of it once the kids were finished school sports. Trips always included visits to farms and agricultural operations to understand history and the conditions under which food was produced in those countries. He spent several months in India in the 1990s doing tile drainage and showing local people how to use the technology, and had a deep respect for the work that farmers do every day here in PEI and New Brunswick, and around the world.
Kevin quietly contributed to his community in many ways. He coached soccer and basketball, and spent a lot of time in gyms and at sports fields over the years. He also donated to many causes and to food banks every year, and was a mentor. He was humble, and would not like to see these things pointed out so we will go no further.
He had many friends and colleagues who mourn his passing, and we will miss him and his smile forever. A high school basketball team mate visited Kevin recently and told us that the old teammates had been talking, and they agreed that if they could choose one person to be their teammate, it would be Kevin. He put his team and his teammates first, and that carried through the rest of his life: family and friends ahead of himself. He was incredibly courageous, and when he learned of his diagnosis in mid-April, he responded that he has no regrets – he had had a good life. He just thought he’d have more time. The death of his son Jacob in mid-June as a result of a drunk driver was a tragedy, occurring just before his last Father’s Day and birthday, but the love he had for Janna, Matt, Brenda, his sisters and brother, in-laws, extended family and friends sustained him. The world needs more Kevins J…treasure your families and your health, and make each day the best it can possibly be.