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Sharron Ray Pern Simmons
(November 7, 1942 - September 7, 2013)

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Sharron Ray Pern Simmons

It was a dark and stormy night, or maybe not, when a young couple with their small child, came barreling down from the Patterson mine on a narrow, bumpy, dirt road heading for Mrs. Stine’s maternity home in Salmon, Idaho. Possibly because the ride was so tumultuous, Sharron Ray Mary Pern came into the world bottom first. Perhaps because of the way she was born, this scrappy little strawberry blonde went through life on her own terms. Sharron was known as Shanny by the family. From the beginning, Sharron and her older by one year sister, Kay, formed a lifelong friendship. In the years that followed Wanda Sue, Joseph James, and Cristine May were too born into the Pern family. The Pern children’s playmates where the Barrett kids, they spent the majority of their time together playing in the gulley, climbing trees, building tree forts and playing cowboys and Indians on Little Hill. They made sagebrush tea with potatoes boiled in it and to drink the “tea” was a test of strength. Sharron attended the Brooklyn school, grades one through six, and then seventh grade through to her graduation at the “old high school”. Sharron was an excellent student receiving mostly A’s in her classes. She enjoyed school and was popular with her classmates. During her high school career, she was a candy striper at the hospital, got involved in the class activities, built and decorated the parade floats, competed in tumbling, won Prom Queen, and as the first Salmon River Days Queen was crowned by Governor Smyle. Sharron enjoyed outdoor sports. Her best friends were Marilyn White and Abbie Cox; Abbie will probably never forget Sharron riding her on down the hill after they lost their sled. It was not until they reached the bottom that Sharron knew the sled was lost. Sharon was known to be strong, fun, kind, honest and faithful. She had numerous jobs in high school but, her primary job was working at Salmon Rexall Drug. She enjoyed helping the folks who came in find what they needed and throughout her life enjoyed working with the elderly. Sharron loved her entire family but had a special bond with her grandma Edna Gutzman with whom she enjoyed playing cards and sharing a pot of Constant Comment tea. Sharron graduated high school and married Sandy Sims in the next month, June 9, 1961, and to them four children were born; Patricia Beth, Stephan Howard, James Eric and Janice Andrea, Sims. Sandy and Sharron raised their four children while they ranched and mined in Lemhi County. Sharron also worked at the Elks Lodge, and in the U.S.F.S. Fire Support Kitchen. In 1975, Sharron and Sandy were divorced. Sharron and her children moved to the new home on the Sims Ranch. Sharron enjoyed the country life. She furthered her education in bookkeeping and also became a certified welder. She made many new friends; Terry Morton, Connie Riggans, and Ronda Edwards to name a few. They all played softball where Sharron became known for her “slow ball” pitch. Her mother, Wanda always gathered a team of her daughters, granddaughters and friends for the Salmon River Days Boat Races, her team often won first place. Sharron always had a lot of fun with her family. Through her brother, Joe and Connie Riggan she met her second husband, John W. Simmons, Connie’s brother. They were married on July 7, 1977. Their home was always open to friends and family including John’s brother Kelly Ryan. John and Sharron worked together for many years. Sometimes they even lived in the forest for their jobs. The couple logged and ran SRS Brushing Company along with her brother Joe. Sharron’s son Eric shares her love for the outdoors, and continues to run his own logging business. John encouraged Sharron to be the first women to participate in and win the Demolition Derby competing against all male drivers. He was her chief mechanic, and strongest supporter. John passed away in a logging accident February of 1990 in South Carolina. Sharron was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Auxiliary. Sharron’s family is known for their volunteer work in the community. Every year Sharron and her sisters prepared the fireman’s banquet, ran the American Legion Auxiliary fair booth, and worked on Eagle’s Spring Fling. Sharron chaired the book sale to support the American Cancer Society and helped with Santa for Seniors. After her children where all raised she started a new chapter in her life. Sharron worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and also helped her sisters care for her parents. Sharron’s grandchildren were a great source of joy and kept her life interesting. She would keep herself busy with projects, visiting her children and grandchildren and traveling with them and other members of her family whenever she could. Sharon would tell a story about a trip of misadventures she took with her sister Cristine and daughter Patti. It was quite a trip that included rescuing a suicidal turtle, driving through the Indian reservations late at night, dodging three foot jack rabbits, and sleeping in their car in the middle of nowhere. The fun didn’t stop there however, just last summer Sharron traveled to the Oregon coast with her daughters and grandchildren. They stayed in a house right on the ocean, and explored the coast line collecting shells and sea glass. Sharron spent much time living with these children and grandchildren in the later years of her life. Family was paramount to Sharron; she shared a special closeness with her siblings, Kay, Sue, Joe and Cristine and her children. She had, in fact, just gotten home from her daughter Janice’s house to pack, and prepare to stay with her son Steve in Portland, Oregon so she could spend the following months seeking medical treatment for her diabetes, when she passed unexpectedly. Sharron spent September 7th, much like she spent the beginning of her life, with her best friend and sister, Kay Miller. Sharron is succeeded in life by her Uncle Bud Gutsman and his family, her three sisters Kay J Miller, Sue (Fred) Waidely, and Cristine (Charles) Andrews, her sister-in-law Connie (Bret) Riggan and family, her four children, Patti (Bill), Steve, Eric, and Janice (Scott) and her seven grandchildren, Joseph (Jessica), Andy (Sierra), Jessica, Sandon (Faith), Drake (Hailey), Hallie, Mason and her nieces and nephews, Rick(Theresa) Miller, Dixie Graves, Mel (Lacey) Lanor, and Kahne Jensen, Chris (Laurie) and Jason Andrews and their families, and Mirya Dorau. She was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

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