Kenneth Howard Simons, 57, of Safford passed away Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 at his home. Kenny was born September 16, 1959 in Toquepala, Peru to Glenn Foster and Betty Jo DeVillbiss Simons when his father was working there for the mining industry. While growing up, Kenny had the opportunity to live in South America and Africa as well as New Mexico and California.
He graduated from Grant High School in Sacramento in 1977 and later attended New Mexico State University where he met the love of his life, Sammie Jo Rasco. They were married in Artesia, New Mexico Jan. 17, 1981 and became the devoted parents of three boys, Terrence, Sam, and Wyatt. Kenny, a miner like his father, worked as a heavy equipment operator in Silver City, New Mexico, Tooele, Utah and Elko, Nevada prior to moving to Safford in 1999.
When complications from back surgery resulted in partial paralysis for Sammie, Kenny became an advocate and loving caretaker until her passing in March of 2004. Kenny was a fighter who continued on through the loss of his wife, his mother and his job the same year. He regained his employment and forged strong friendships working at the Morenci mine as a heavy equipment operator and transporter. He enjoyed coin collecting, playing chess and golf, visiting casinos and riding his motorcycle. What he loved most, however, was spending time with his family and surprising his grandchildren with small gifts. He is remembered as a father who put his children’s needs before his own.
He is survived by his brother Glenn Mike as well as his sister Linda Jo (Bill) Frost, both of Las Cruces, New Mexico; by his sons, Terrence Cameron (Amanda) of Gilbert; Samuel Tate (Ashley) and their children Owen Blaine and Skylar Jo of Safford; and Kenneth Wyatt (Hannah) and their children Ivan Wyatt and Jason Alexander, also of Safford.
Kenny was preceded in death by his father, mother and his wife Sammie.
A Memorial service for Kenny will be held on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mt. Graham Chapel.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.