Obituary of MaryAnn Ratzlaff Simmons | TheUnion.com
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Obituary of MaryAnn Ratzlaff Simmons

MaryAnn Ratzlaff Simmons, 95, a longtime resident of Grass Valley, passed away in Taft, Calif., Wednesday June 28, 3:45 at Westside Senior Care in Taft. She is now in the arms of her loving Saviour. MaryAnn was born in Shafter, Calif., March 17, 1922. There were a total of eight children in her family, five brothers and two other sisters. MaryAnn the youngest and

the last to pass of all her siblings. Her father’s name was Peter Towes Ratzlaff, who emigrated from southern Russia when he was a young boy, and passed when MaryAnn was just 3 years old on their farm in Shafter. Her mother Sarah Siemens was born in Buhler, Kansas, in 1883; she passed in 1966. MaryAnn met her husband Robert Allen Simmons in Shafter and they married in November 29, 1941. MaryAnn was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. In 1958 she and Robert bought a small farm in Nevada City on Newtown Road, where they raised their four children. She was a stay-at-home mother and enjoyed cooking for her family and making a beautiful home for her husband and children. She loved planting bulbs and flowers and always had beautiful tulips, iris, daffodils, and other types of flowers planted all over their property. She especially loved her little banty hens that roamed freely about their farm. Her husband Robert was a master sergeant in the United States Air Force, so as a family they moved quite a bit, but the farm was where they would come back to when his station was finished.

She learned to play the piano later in her 40s, and enjoyed sewing, crocheting, pottery, which she would give as gifts many times. Her faith in God was very important to her and she raised her children in that faith. She attended church regularly with her husband and children. In their later years they attended the First Baptist Church and Abundant Life Fellowship later on. They considered that their home church in their later years.

She is survived by her four children, Robert David Simmons of Sacramento, Calif.; Kathleen Knoke of Cary, Ill.; Wayne Allen Simmons of Taft, Calif.; and JoAnne Marie Younger of Grass Valley; 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

The funeral/memorial will be held at the Deer Creek Cemetery, 10580 Red Dog Road, Nevada City at 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 10. The memorial is open to all who wish to attend.


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