Shirley Ellen Simmons

Feb. 6, 1937 – June 7, 2017

OVERBROOK — Shirley Ellen Simmons passed away peacefully, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook, with her daughter, Vicky and son, Doc by her side. She was 80.

She was born Feb. 6, 1937, at Bear Creek, Mo., in Cedar County, the daughter of the late, Dewey and Gladys King, Stockton, Mo.

She was a graduate of Stockton High School, where she was named the outstanding girl athlete. She thoroughly enjoyed athletics, square dancing, gardening, people, and spending time on her farm north of Overbrook. She was a huge Cardinal baseball fan, loved the KU Jayhawks, and supported her children’s sports teams.

She married Ulen Simmons in 1954. They had a daughter, Vicky Simmons. They separated after a few years. Later, she married Charles Simmons and they had three sons, Eddy, Steve and Terry “Doc” and a daughter, Mary Simmons. She eventually separated from him.

Raising her five children remained the most important part of her life. Family, friends, and serving the community were her passion and delight. Her greatest love was spending time with all her grandchildren and attending their sports events.

In the late 1950s, she owned and operated the Corner Café in Stockton Mo. She later lived in Iowa and Lawrence, where she worked at Boyd’s Grill and Hallmarks Cards. In 1962, she opened Shirley’s Café in Overbrook, a self-supporting and fantastic place to eat.

She became an iconic woman in Overbrook. She had great people skills and her constant joking with customers was almost as good as a “Shirley’s special hamburger.” She sincerely loved people and enjoyed teasing them. She was an excellent cook and prepared home-cooked meals for her family and friends. Her staff not only consisted of her five children and grandchildren, but many local people, including high school students in Overbrook. She retired after 50 years.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Dewey and Gladys King; a brother, James King; and a son, Steve Simmons.

She has two surviving daughters, Vicky Jones and husband, Clint, Stillwater, Okla., and Mary Simmons, Overbrook; two surviving sons, living in Overbrook, Eddy Simmons and wife, Nadine and Terry “Doc” Simmons and wife, Sally; five granddaughters, Amy Goff and husband, Matt, Paris, Tagney Walters and husband, Nick, Vermillion, S.D., Matley Jones, Delano, Minn., Brianna Brown, Topeka, and Keesha Simmons, Overbrook; six grandsons, Jason Simmons and wife, Kami, Lyndon, Jacob Simmons and wife, Kylee, Burlingame, Levi Spencer, Minnesota, Dallas Jones and wife, Hannah, Aurora, Colo., Montana Jones, Lincoln, Neb., and Blake Brown and wife, Kelcie, Overbrook; 10 great-grandchildren, Logan and Jameson Goff, Paris, Morgan Simmons, Topeka, Avary Simmons, Lyndon, Joselyn and Gracie Simmons, Burlingame, Barrett and Hadlee Brown, Overbrook, and Brinlieth and Brody Brown; several nieces and nephews in Texas; and a sister-in-law, Gloria King.

She was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother, aunt and a friend to all who knew her. She will be remembered for her kindness and sense of humor. She leaves behind many friends who came to love her. She was not only a friend to many but she cared for those who could not care for themselves. She will be deeply missed but fondly remain in the hearts and thoughts of her family and many friends forever.

A celebration of Life will be held 2 p.m. June 18 at Overbrook City Library, Overbrook.

Memorial contributions may be made to Overbrook Ball Association or Overbrook Library, and sent in care of Davidson Funeral Home, 1035 N. Kansas Ave., Topeka KS 66608.

Condolences maybe expressed at


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