For 83 years of life and 65 years of marriage, we give thanks. Tui was born Sept. 3, 1926 to Harold Clark and Ada Waters in Melbourne, Australia. She recalled the hardships of the Depression and the loss of her father, older brother and sister before the second Great War began.
One day in 1942, while on an errand, she passed a young American soldier on the street. They both turned at the same time to look back, starting a lifetime union. That soldier’s name was Vern Simmons, a proud member of the 41st Infantry Division. Tui followed her heart and wrote to this young man all through the war as he fought for our freedom in the islands of the South Pacific.
Granted a furlough, Vern flew down to Melbourne and married Tui on June 6, 1945. Tui followed her husband to the U.S. in 1946 at age 18 where they settled in Oregon and she bore three children.
In 1961, Vern and Tui moved to Grand Junction, Colo., where a new golf course named Bookcliff Country Club needed a manager. In 1971, another new course needed help so they moved to Meeker County. Then, in 1973, Moab Golf Course requested Vern and Tui’s expertise.
Tui worked tirelessly to see that her family fared well, and she had many jobs. She retired after 17 years from City Market, so you may remember the little woman who rented videos. After that she ran a clothing consignment store before moving one last time to Castle Valley, a place she loved.
Tui died on July 5, 2010, losing her struggle with cancer at home surrounded by her husband and children. She leaves behind her husband, Vern; her sister, Ngaire Clark; three children, 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. Words cannot describe her loving and caring nature, so all we can say is thank you, Mom.
A memorial gathering will take place at Callahan Mortuary, 2515 Patterson, in Grand Junction on Friday, July 16 at 3 p.m.