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HomeNewsArchivesFormer St. John Postmistress Ubaldina Simmons Dies

Former St. John Postmistress Ubaldina Simmons Dies

July 18, 2008 — Ubaldina Simmons, whose name graces the St. John post office, died July 10 at her home in Greenbelt, Md. She was 98.
"She was a nice, quiet and pleasant person," said Al Smith, who works at the St. John post office, on Thursday.
Simmons was working at the post office when Smith joined the staff in 1978.
Beryl S. Samuel, Simmons' daughter, said her mother was St. John's first postmistress, initially working out of a small room at the Battery. Before the official post office opened, St. John mail was delivered to the Meada's guesthouse yard, Samuel said. The current post office opened in the 1960s.
Simmons spent 25 years with the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in the 1970s. She was a charter member of the now-defunct St. John Business and Professional Women, according to her daughter.
"And she donated a lot of her time to local charities," Samuel said.
St. John resident Guy Benjamin, who turns 95 in October, said Simmons kindly forwarded his mail to American Express offices all over Europe when he went on a year-long trip.
"I was in touch with home all the time I was in Europe," he said.
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone called Simmons a public figure who exemplified decency, proficiency and good character.
"She was definitely an influential member in the St. John community who commanded the respect and admiration of everyone," Malone said.
Simmons was also a community activist who used her time and resources to make improvements on St. John, Malone noted.
"Her legacy and memories will forever remain etched firm and deep in our minds," Malone said.
The Post Office was renamed the Ubaldina Simmons post office in 1995.
Simmons was the wife of the late George Simmons, a St. John administrator. He died in 1986. George Simmons Terrace homes on St. John is named in his honor.
The former postmistress met her husband through the late Sen. Julius E. Sprauve when the land was being acquired for V.I. National Park on St. John, Benjamin said.
She is survived by her daughters Beryl S. Samuel and Eldra Simmons, stepdaughter Helen Simmons, adopted daughter Shirley Monsanto, and sons Richard Sibilly and Duane Sibilly. Her stepson is Ronald Simmons. Other adopted children include Errol and Pearl Eccles. She is also survived by son-in-law Milton Samuel and daughters-in-law Rowena Sibilly, Joan Sibilly, Diane Simmons and Shaya Samuel.
Simmons is survived by a stepsister, Inger Van Holten Messam. She had 13 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Nazareth Lutheran Church on St. John.
Viewings will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Davis Funeral Home Chapel on St. Thomas and from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Nazareth Lutheran Church.
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