Barbara Ann ‘Mick’ (Meiklejohn) Simmons
SALISBURY â€” Barbara Ann (Meiklejohn) Simmons, known to most as â€œMick,â€ died on Oct. 26, 2009, at Yale-New Haven Hospital after a long battle with cancer. Her adoring family surrounded her.
Barbara was born on April 2, 1949, in Seattle, Wash., and lived there until her family moved across the country and settled in Longmeadow, Mass. It was at Longmeadow High School in a sea of â€œBarbara Annsâ€ that she became â€œMick,â€ a name that stuck with her the rest of her life and forever set her apart from those around her.
She studied at the University of Vermont, where she met a confident young hockey player named Sam Simmons, who took her to see the Moody Blues and later took her for Jeep rides. She graduated in 1971, married Sam in 1972, and moved to South Kent School with her family in 1978, where they stayed for 20 years before moving to Salisbury School in 1998.
You have met Mick. Maybe you received one of her hugs that allowed you to feel both supported and comforted, strong and vulnerable. You may have been one of the new mothers she guided through making curtains, healing children and maintaining joy. Perhaps you saw the garden work she did all over Salisbury to make the town look fresh and alive. You may have been lucky enough to have been given a batch of her chocolate chip cookies or Christmas toffee. Or maybe you sat behind her yellow â€œLive Strongâ€ jersey as she rowed a racing shell on Washinee Lake, following her powerful, graceful stroke. Perhaps she told you about how proud she was of her four children or how excited she was to finally be a grandmother. You may have even been there to celebrate her 37th wedding anniversary. Maybe when you talked to her, you didnâ€™t even know how sick she was because she asked about you and your family, brought you flowers, smiled, hugged and left you feeling cared for.
We have all been awed by how one woman could be filled with so much joy, could share so generously, could shine so brightly. We have not tried to figure it out; instead, we have just taken our moments with Mick as gifts and been thankful that she was in the world.
She is survived by her husband, Sam; her children, Molly, Katherine and Tom Simmons and Rebecca and Peter Cooke; her granddaughter, Madeline Cooke; her mother, Barbara deGersdorff; her sister, Jean Maggioncalda; and her stepbrother, Steve deGersdorff.
A celebration of Mickâ€™s life will be held on Monday, Dec. 28, at 1 p.m. at the Salisbury School Chapel. All are welcome.