The Oklahoman

Linda Simmons


YUKON - Linda Bannister Simmons journeyed from this life on October 20, 2021 after living a long and textured life. She was born to Rosemary and Ray Bannister of El Reno, Oklahoma. Linda passed quietly away in her home with her long-devoted husband by her side and her three children nearby as well.

In 1958, she met the love of her life, James C. “Jim” Simmons of El Reno, and they were wed on August 6, 1960. Linda and Jim had three children Julie, Susanne and Jim.

Linda was passionate about several things throughout her long life’s journey. She loved taking care of her family and she raised her family with a strong sense of loyalty, integrity, love, and her unique sense of humor. She worked hard at creating memories via some of her loves: travelling, nature, nature hikes, skiing, and of course never ever being able to bypass a “good rock.” She loved music, and artistic expression of any media. Linda was instrument­al to the success of the El Reno Art Festival in the 1970s. She helped expand the art festival and aided in bringing in internatio­nally renowned artists to judge and participat­e in the festival. Her travels allowed her to experience different cultures and she had many objects of art in her home from those journeys. Because she loved beauty and was talented at what she called, the “art of placement,” Linda’s home was always an inviting haven in which exploratio­n was rewarded with an interestin­g object d’art nestled in a corner.

As her children grew, she stepped into the journey of her next passion, which was the area of mental health. Linda obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma. Because of her loyalty to OU, she and Jim, who attended OSU, harmonious­ly lived in a house divided. After receiving her graduate degree and licensure as an LPC and LMFT, Linda pursued a rigorous four to five year study program with the Colorado Center for Psychoanal­ytic Studies in Denver, Colorado, graduating from the program in 1998 and obtaining certificat­ion as a Certified Psychoanal­yst. She practiced her craft in Oklahoma City for nearly 20 years. Linda was an active member in the Oklahoma Society for Psychoanal­ytic Studies during that time and was a well-respected therapist and analyst.

Linda and Jim loved traveling and creating fun adventures. Many times this included traveling to children and grandchild­ren’s homes and attending the grandchild­ren’s events. She loved playing and, of course, rock hunting, introducin­g her grandchild­ren and great grandchild­ren to nature’s various wonders. She loved to create moments of fun and laughter with her orneriness and-practical jokes. She brought a great sense of unity when the family came together and creating more family memories, that none of the family will soon forget.

As for her children, Linda gave of her gifts, such as her passion for health became her daughter, Susanne’s passion, resulting in owning and managing a health food store. As for her love of beauty, New Mexico and color, she passed that love down to her daughter, Julie. Her son, Jim, inherited her rapid-fire wit and fierce intelligen­ce.

Linda is survived by her husband , James C. Simmons, of Yukon, Oklahoma; her daughter , Julie Rivers, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; her daughter, Susanne Engelbert and her husband, Peter Engelbert, of Mansfield, Texas; and son, James C. Simmons Jr., of Clear Lake, Texas; nine grandchild­ren, including Allie Gelnar Yisa, her husband , Junaid Yisa and their two sons, Fuad and Eman, all of Katy, Texas; Patrick Stewart, his wife, Cheryl and their two children, Wyatt, and Cora, all of Austin, Texas; Ben Gelnar, his wife, Eva, and daughters, Genevieve and Aurora; Elisabeth Stewart of Mansfield, Texas; Ian Stewart and his wife Lindsey as well as the greatly anticipate­d birth of daughter, Hadleigh, of Carriere, Mississipp­i; Jordan Engelbert of Ft. Worth, Texas; Caleb Stewart of Denton, Texas; Kyle Engelbert of Mansfield, Texas; and Jacob Simmons of Houston, Texas.

Our family would like to give a special thanks to the wonderful caregivers at Spanish Cove in Yukon, Oklahoma along with the staff at Physicians Choice/Traditions Health Hospice.

Funeral services for Linda Alice Bannister Simmons of Canadian County Oklahoma will be held at the Benson Funeral Home Chapel in El Reno, Oklahoma on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 2 p.m. The services will be available in person only.

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