The Simmons Family
“My parents raised four children together: Roxie, Wynder, Dwayne, and Michelle. My father had three older children Elaine, Joyce and Leander. Being a loving and devoted husband and father, he had very strong family values. He always had time for his family, attending all school activities. We enjoyed many family dinners together.
I remember the family conference where we could talk about anything that happened in our lives. Anyone could call a family conference. This was a way of building a strong bond with each other. We learned to listen to each other and how to conduct a meeting. He would say “Family is everything and without it you have nothing.” When many of our family members moved to Rochester from the south, they lived with us.”
--Roxie Simmons Sinkler
Alice Otis, one of Rocky’s three sisters, and the mother of Rochester’s Audrey Smith. “My father was very close to his sister Alice. They had a strong bond of love and respect for each other. It was great to see.”
Map of Mississippi, pinpointing Rocky’s birthplace: Magnolia and the city of Bogalusa, LA where he spent much of his youth. Rocky, like so many others, left the Deep South after WWII to find a new life in the north.
Rocky Simmons as a child.
The original is a photographic postcard.
The Simmons family lived at 277 Scio Street on Rochester’s northeast side. Here we see daughter Roxie as a child. Photo by Rocky Simmons, c1964.
Rocky’s mother, Gladys Simmons.
Beatrice [Dawkins] Simmons, Rocky’s wife. They were married in Rochester, 1954. This photo was taken in their Scio Street home the following year.
Photo by Rocky Simmons.
Steven Wynder (“Rocky”) Simmons and his father Irvine Simmons.
Rocky spent his last years at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital at Canandaigua, here seen during a family visit in 1991. Top row, left to right: son Wynder, Linda [Wynder’s wife], Rocky’s wife Beatrice, son Dwayne, daughters Michelle and Roxie and niece Audrey Smith. Rocky is wearing baseball gear, surrounded by his grandchildren.