DODGE CITY - Vivian L. Simmons, 85, died Sunday, August 25, 2013 at Trinity Manor, Dodge City.
She was born May 28, 1928 on the family farm 5 ? miles SW of McCracken, the daughter of Reginald Malcolm “Max”, Sr. and Loretta Annacletus Higgins Washaliski. She started first grade at 5 years old and attended 8 years at the Thistle Grove Country School near McCracken and in 1945 graduated from Bazine High School. She started working for AT&T at the age of 17 as a telephone operator in La Crosse and later transferred to Southwestern Bell in Hutchinson as a service representative. She retired as the secretary to the Division Manager in Wichita on July 1, 1980 after more than 34 years of service. She moved to Dodge City from Hutchinson in the fall of 2008 and resided at the Sterling House.
She was a former member of the 10th Ave. Methodist Church in Hutchinson, Daughters of Union Veterans, Tent #35, Hutchinson Genealogy, ESI of Wichita and AT&T Pioneers. She was a great business woman and loved her family. She knitted, crocheted, tatted, did ceramics, counted cross stitch and made many things for her family.
On January 28, 1950 she married Vernon Blue. He preceded her in death on October 28, 1971. On June 30, 1977 she married Frank Sonnedecker at Ponca City, Oklahoma. He preceded her in death on March 15, 1980. In December of 1989 she married Esley L. Simmons at Pratt. They divorced in August of 1992.
Survivors include: a step-son, Ray Sonnedecker and wife Eileen, Hutchinson; 2 brothers, Wm. H. “Skip” Washaliski and wife Myrl, Milton, Florida and Reginald M. “Diz” Washaliski and wife Wilma, McCracken; a sister, Marietta Kirk and husband Gene, Dodge City; 6 nephews, Kent Holmes, Topeka, Todd Holmes, Montezuma, Mike Washaliski, Milton, Florida, Eric Washaliski, Bella Vista, Arkansas, Chad Kirk, Minneola and Gary Weller, Wichita; 3 nieces, Lori Lavender, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Tami Kirk, Dodge City and Sharon Madison, Cassville, Missouri; 6 great nephews; 1 great niece; a step-granddaughter, Kyle Waldron and husband David, Beverley Hills, Michigan; and a step-great grandson, Derek Waldron.
She was preceded in death by her father, Reginald “Max” Washaliski and mother, Loretta Hammer, 3 sisters, Harriet “Toots” Washaliski, Ethelda Washaliski and Marguerite Holmes and 2 nephews, Alan Holmes and David Washaliski.
Memorial graveside services will be held 2:00 pm Saturday, September 7, 2013 at Fairlawn Cemetery, Hutchinson. There will be no public viewing, cremation has taken place.
The family suggests memorials to the Rush County EMT in care of Dotti Schuckman, P.O. Box 554, La Crosse, Kansas 67548, Bazine Alumni Association in care of Evelyn Beltz, 310 N. Waumbaugh St., Bazine, Kansas 67516 or the McCracken Museum in care of Carolyn Thompson, 208 Main, McCracken, Kansas 67556. Condolences may be sent to www.zieglerfuneralchapel.com.