Cover photo for Lora Mae Simmons's Obituary
Lora Mae Simmons Profile Photo

Lora Mae Simmons

d. March 9, 2020

Lora Mae Simmons, 94, peacefully passed on March 9, 2020, in Newton, Kansas.  She was born on May 29, 1925, in Haddam, KS, to Henry and Agnes (Neidar) Fencl.

Lora was the first of thirteen children born during the Great Depression.  The family lived in a rural area of northern Kansas where she spent her formative years attending school and helping with her siblings.  These years heavily influenced her adult life.  In her late teens Lora moved to Wichita, KS, looking for job opportunities.  She found work in the ice cream division of Stephen’s Dairy.

Lora met, and later married Billy R. Simmons on June 22, 1947 in Wichita, Kansas.  Bill took a new job in El Dorado, Kansas, where they lived for a short period of time.  In 1952, they permanently settled in Newton, Kansas.  They had a good life raising their three children; Cindy, Stephen and Nancy.  Lora and Bill were proud, active members of the First Baptist Church.  They found fellowship and purpose in their church home.  Lora enjoyed teaching children’s Sunday School classes for several years.

Lora spent most of her time practicing the art of homemaking.  She enjoyed cooking, clipping recipes, keeping a clean home, and caring for her grandchildren, dachshunds (Bridgette and Bradley) and granddachshunds.  Later in life she adopted, and loved, a few feline friends.  She found joy and awe in nature.  Bird watching, tending to her flower garden and observing the change of colorful fall leaves were highlights for Lora.  Violets, tulips, cardinals and maple trees were favorites.

Lora had a spunky personality that brought laughter and joy to those around her.  She will be dearly missed.

Lora was preceded in death by her husband of sixty years, Billy R. Simmons; parents; brothers, Henry Fencl Jr., Gary Fencl, Jim Fencl, Don Fencl, Roy Fencl and Wayne Fencl; and sister, Mary Ann Griffin.

Survivors include: daughters, Cindy Simmons (Ralph Bornowsky) of Newton, and Nancy Simmons (Ted Wilber) of Phoenix AZ; son, Stephen (Kathryn) Simmons of North Newton; Granddaughters, Jennifer (Trey) Baldwin Murray of Andover, KS, Jessica Baldwin (Kyle Kelly) of Tonganoxie, KS and Hannah Lillak of Phoenix, AZ; Great grandchildren, Jerrica (Chuck) Johnson, Lanna (Ben) Rommel, Brody Carroll (Miranda Silvey), Eryn Murray, Savanna Murray and Piper Murray; Great-great grandchildren, Lynnlee Johnson and Kyler Thompson; sisters, Peggy Svanda and Carol (A.O.) Small, both of Washington KS, Sharon Fencl of Clay Center, KS; brothers, Joseph Fencl of Washington KS, and Roger Fencl of Sand Springs, OK; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation is scheduled from 1-5p on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main St, Newton KS.


Services will be held at 2p on Monday, March 16, 2020, at Petersen Funeral Home Chapel, 215 N. Main St. Newton, KS.  Burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a memorial contribution to Caring Hands Humane Society, in care of Petersen Funeral Home.



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