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Friday, May 22, 2020

Charles R. “Chub” Simmons, 72, Lancaster, PA

Charles R. “Chub” Simmons

On Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020, Charles R. “Chub” Simmons’ 21-year journey living with traumatic brain injury ended in the peaceful mountains of Pennsylvania at Darway Health Care in Forksville, where he resided the last three years. His passing, while sad, is also a blessing. We are confident he is in a better place, with full mobility, and all his memories of a life well-lived fully restored.

Chub was born June 11, 1947 in Lancaster to the late Charles E. and Hazel L. Brooks Simmons. On March 4, 1967 he married Shirley E. Krous. In addition to his wife, Chub is survived by their daughters Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Valen, and Susan Simmons, his grandchildren Sydney Elizabeth Valen and Andrew Charles Valen, all of Lancaster, and his sister Cindy, wife of Al Hingerty, of Wimauma, Florida. His extended family includes his father-in-law and his wife, three brothers-in-law and their wives, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. 
Vietnam Veteran

Along with his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Michael and Donald Simmons.

Chub graduated from Lancaster Catholic High School in 1965 and in March 1966, following in his parents’ footsteps, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency for four years to proudly serve his country. He was a Vietnam veteran.

His life-long mantra was to work hard and to play hard. He didn’t invent the saying, but he truly lived it. As a youth he enjoyed hunting, fishing, baseball, bowling and golf, and continued to enjoy those pastimes throughout his life. He worked with his father learning how to install ceramic tile and linoleum, and he graduated from the Armstrong Installation School – twice!

After military service Chub returned to Lancaster and worked for local companies perfecting the trades that would carry him through his professional career as a floor and ceiling installer. 

In 1983, along with his friend Harry O’Dell, he started a business that evolved into Simmons Floors & Ceilings. Shirley managed the business side, and literally told Chub where to go every day! Beth and Susie helped when Dad needed “his boys – Butch and Skip.” Chub believed in taking the time to do the job right the first time, and instilled that work ethic in many of his employees. 

The business prospered until his snowmobile accident in January 1999. Life as we knew it changed, and we all adapted.

Chub was a life member of the Millersville VFW Post 7294, a 35-year member of the American Legion Potter Post 192, a former member of Meadia Heights Golf Club, where he was a Men’s Senior Champion and manager of their “Chubbers” bowling league at Rocky Springs, and a long-time member of the Sweden Feedin’ Club in Potter County, feeding wildlife in the winters. He shot pool with the Seven Bridges League and was known for his “Chub shots” – hiding the cue ball so his opponent couldn’t get a shot! Many a visitor to Potato City Inn asked the “Trail Boss” for directions when snowmobiling.

Chub hunted for ten years in Wyoming with friends, and after his accident enjoyed two more trips west with Shirley. He was fortunate to travel with his children and grandchildren to Alaska and Australia. He had many trips to Myrtle Beach, Buck Lake Ontario, and Florida, and even a caribou hunt in Quebec in 2002.

He enjoyed being the “First Family” of Dry Run Road. “George” brought “Laura” her coffee every day. He picked “bootiful bootays” of wildflowers-or dandelions-on his many walks with his beagle Jenni-Furry. Chub enjoyed a love of sports and God’s Country his entire life and he shared that appreciation with his children and grandchildren. His grandchildren remember rides on the 4-wheeler, fishing at Mr. Vic’s pond, and attending the Potter County Fair with “Fa Fa”. What fun they had at the Mountain Haus! 

Chub has donated his brain for research to the VA-BU-CLF brain bank, a collaboration between the Veterans’ Administration, Boston University, and the Concussion Legacy Foundation. The family suggests that anyone interested in learning more or donating to their research visit the following websites: or

Services will be private, at the convenience of the family.

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