Richard Lee Simmons

December 10, 1938 ~ September 13, 2021 (age 82)


Richard ‘Dick’ Simmons


Dick Simmons valued family, education and travel. He enriched the lives of thousands of students as a teacher of American History for 34 years at Billings Senior High School, becoming an icon as an educator. He stressed the importance of understanding the historical facts plus the underlying ideals. He exemplified this lifelong approach to learning through traveling across the United States to experience the living history of our country.

Dick traveled extensively across the U.S. and Europe with his family: his wife, Carol, and two sons, Mike and Larry, teaching them to love the outdoors and travel as he did. He lived for his family and their happiness, as he would proudly tell anyone who would listen about the accomplishments of his sons, or his daughters-in-law Diana and Lana, or his four grandchildren: Logan, Sabina, Brianne and Tucker.

Dick loved golf and was a member of the Laurel Golf Club for nearly 40 years. Their shared love of golf and travel took Dick and Carol to Texas for winters to be able to play year-round. Dick enjoyed annual reunions with fellow “snowbirds” from other northern states and Canada, and would gather them all daily for popcorn around the campfire even as his mobility diminished. After nearly 20 years fighting against prostate cancer, the battle ended as he passed away Sept. 13, 2021, at the age of 82.

Born Dec. 10, 1938, in Auburn, Washington, to Clifford and Evelyn Anvik, Dick lost his father when he was a toddler. His mother later married Melvin Simmons, and together they moved to Fairview, Montana. He graduated from Fairview High School in 1957 and earned a BS in History at Eastern Montana College and an MS in History from Montana State University, Bozeman.

He is survived by his immediate family (wife Carol, sons Mike and Larry) and his siblings (Elaine Weber, Elma Sundheim, Karen Olson, and Edward Simmons).

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. A memorial service to celebrate his life will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1108 24th St. West.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Billings Clinic Cancer Center:

Designate “Cancer Center” and check the box under “Tribute Gift.”

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Lee Simmons, please visit our floral store.


September 19, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary
1001 Alderson Avenue
Billings, MT 59102

Memorial Service
September 20, 2021

10:00 AM
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
1108 24th St. West
Billings, MT 59102

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