Tommy Ray Simms, 81, passed away peacefully in his Fort Walton Beach home on June 2, 2018.
Tommy was born on December 8, 1936, to parents William Melvin and Anna Elizabeth Simms. He joined the United States Air Force in 1955 and was first assigned to Samson Air Force Base in Seneca County, New York. Tommy’s final assignment was to Hurlburt Field, Florida where he served as the General Manager for Hurlburt’s Non-Commissioned Officers Club. As a Staff Sergeant, Tommy retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service in 1975.
Tommy’s service to his country continued up until the time of his passing. He was most passionate about the Disabled American Veterans, and he held the office of Florida’s State Commander and was a Service Officer for the National Executive Committee of the DAV, Veterans for Foreign Wars, and the American Legion for many years.
Tommy, known as the Veterans Veteran, worked devotedly at raising funds for local disabled veterans. Among his favorite projects were the purchasing of two specially designed and equipped passenger vans and two golf carts, all used for transportation by the Veterans Administration Clinic at Eglin Air Force Base. Tommy’s fund-raising efforts allowed for a significant contribution to the building of the Veterans Tribute Tower at Beal Memorial Cemetery.
Tommy is survived by his wife and best friend of 62 years, Rosita Tacneng Simms, and their children, Scott, Ron (Christy), Anna (Brian) Bugbee, and David (Crystal). He was loved dearly by his grandchildren, Christopher, Kristen, Gabriella, and Rebecca, and great-granddaughter Allison. Tommy is predeceased in death by his son, Mark.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 6, from 5 until 7 PM at Emerald Coast Funeral Home. Services are scheduled for Thursday morning, June 7, at 10 AM in the chapel of Emerald Coast Funeral Home, with interment to follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery.
The family would like to express our sincerest thanks to Mark Shaw and the Fort Walton Beach Golden Corral for the never-ending love, support, and contribution to Tommy and his fund-raising efforts for our local disabled veterans.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com