Josephine Verbena Hofts Simms, 98, daughter of Henry and Rena (Steinman) Hofts, was born April 30, 1920, on the family farm near Ruskin, Nebraska. She died in the presence of her family on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Republic County Hospital in Belleville, Kansas.
The Hofts family later moved to Republic County, Kansas. Josephine graduated from Republic High School in 1940. Upon graduation, she attended Kansas Normal Teachers training; she graduated on June 13, 1940 and taught at a country school for one year. On December 26, 1940 she married Kenneth A. Simms at Washington, Kansas. The marriage was kept a secret the remainder of the school year because at the time women teachers could not be married. To this union four children were born: Roger, Douglas, Bryan, and Jennifer.
Kenneth and Josie farmed the Simms family homestead for 65 years. She was a devoted wife and mother. Josie was an active member of the Republic Methodist Church, Republic HDU and the Republic Senior Citizens Center. She was also a member of the Republic High School Alumni Association, a clothing leader in the Republic Pioneers’ 4-H Club, and a member of Friends of Pawnee.
Josie’s hobbies included writing a daily diary for 40 years, raising chickens, gardening, and sewing, collecting dolls, and attending auctions.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband in 2003, a son Roger K. Simms in 1997, her older sisters Lena Banks and Minnie Sankey and her younger brother Glenn Hofts.
Josephine will be forever remembered by her younger sister Florence Elliott, Hays; children: Douglas G. Simms (Paula), Belleville, Bryan J. Simms (Carolyn), Republic, and Jennifer J. Loring (Gary), Scandia; daughter –in-law Nancy Simms, Belleville; nine grandchildren, Christine (Michael) Conn, Snoqualmie, WA, Jimmy (Anne) Simms, Daykin, NE, Andrea (Joe) Fischer, Belleville, Terah (Lee) Isaacson, Houston, TX, Paige (Jose’) Gonzalez, Chicago, IL, Jordan (Lauren) Isaacson, Superior, NE; Nathan Isaacson, Manhattan, KS, Michael (Leah) Loring, Concordia, KS, Shalynn Loring, Concordia, Ks, Jeanette (Alan) Sheets, Belleville, KS, Edward (Chloe) Simms, Stilwell, KS; great grandchildren: Spencer & Libby Conn, Tucker & Riley Simms, Laurel & Alex Fischer, Vivienne, Natalia, and Alexander Howell, Isaac Gonzalez, Avaleigh, Sawyer, and Mason Isaacson, Ensley Loring, Jaclyn, Joni, and Audrey Sheets, Henry, Max, and Charlie Simms; and a host of relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held 11:00am Friday, December 21, 2018 at the United Methodist Church, Republic, Kansas with Pastor Lance Rundus officiating. She will be laid to rest beside her husband Kenneth in Lake Cemetery rural Republic. Memorials may be made to the Republic Methodist Church. Viewing will be Thursday, December 20th from 1:00pm to 8:00pm at Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, Kansas who is assisting the Simms family with these arrangements.