Dr. Michael Reed Simmons, 58, of Girard, Kansas, passed away at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, on October 22, 2021, surrounded by friends and family. Michael was a physician who served for most of his career in Southeast Kansas.
Michael was born in Warrensburg, Missouri, on the first day of Spring in 1963, March 21, to James D. Simmons and Mary Jo Simmons. Michael grew up in Warrensburg, Missouri, until the family moved to Chanute, Kansas, when he was 13. Michael was an Eagle Scout and served several summers as a staff member at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation in Osceola, Missouri. He was a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle in the Mic-O-Say honor camper program. Mic-O-Say means Friendship and Warmth. He carried those values throughout his whole life.
On May 12, 1984, Michael married Darla Goff in Savonburg, Kansas. They have three beautiful daughters, Michelle, Lauren, and Kristen.
Michael’s greatest joy was the time spent with his daughters. They loved to travel and went on family trips together. Their trips included Michigan, Niagara Falls, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Branson, and cruises to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico. They also enjoyed weekends at Grand Lake and Table Rock Lake. He played tennis, bowled, and ran “slow” 5K’s, and had regular movie-nights with his daughters. He coached his daughters’ softball teams and spent countless hours in the yard practicing with them. He was an avid Jayhawk fan, and he was always up for a road trip to Lawrence with his daughters to watch KU basketball games. He also enjoyed going out to eat with his daughters. Following his footsteps, all of his children have gone into careers in the service of others.
Michael continued the family tradition for healing. His great-grandfather, grandmother, mother and an uncle all devoted their lives to healing service to others. Before he graduated high school, he was a certified EMT. Michael attended and graduated from Chanute High School. He later attended the University of Kansas to study medicine. After completion of family medicine residency, he began practicing medicine in Girard, Kansas. He thoroughly enjoyed the practice of medicine and took great satisfaction in being able to have a positive impact in his patients’ lives. In order to provide the best care for his patients, he got to know his patients well. Many considered him their friend. When he was out with family members, it was normal for patients to greet him and share their stories with his family about what a positive impact he made in their lives. Those comments would bring great pride to his family, but Michael would just smile and thank them. To him, it was just doing what he was meant to do. One of the things he most enjoyed was delivering babies. Many patients still send or post pictures of their families and the children he delivered. He influenced others to practice medicine including his daughter Lauren and his sister Melinda.
Michael also loved to ride motorcycles. He was an Iron Butt rider, and in 2021 he went on a 9000-mile trip to the West Coast visiting family and national landmarks. Michael also had a creative side and enjoyed construction projects. He also played piano by ear, guitar, and double bass. He enjoyed ballroom and tap dancing. He was always expanding his knowledge and never stopped learning. Michael loved dogs and always had a companion dog. His last dog was Jazmine, an Alaskan Malamute. Before that, his dogs were Belle, a Norwegian Elkhound, and Lily, a stray dog that adopted Michael.
Michael is survived by daughter Michelle (Sam) Kuglin and granddaughter Emily, daughter Lauren Simmons, and daughter Kristen (Caleb) Durbin. He is also survived by mother Mary Jo Simmons, brothers Jim (Angela) Simmons, David (Louise) Simmons, sisters Mary (Brenda) Simmons-Deaver
and Dr. Melinda (Robert) Henne, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A service will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 1:00 pm at Brenner Mortuary in Pittsburg, Kansas with Pastor Jordan Hodges officiating. Interment will be in Warrensburg, Missouri, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Medical Missions Foundation. Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St. Pittsburg, KS.