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Obituary of Rollin Lee Simmons, 92 

Rollin Lee Simmons obituary

Rollin Lee Simmons.

Dec. 20, 1931 – April 10, 2024

In the care of Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home

– Rollin was born in Farmington Washington on Dec. 20, 1931, to Rollin D. Simmons and Esther D. Simmons. He was an only child. At age three, his family moved to Glendale CA where he grew up and graduated from Glendale High School. At age 19, Rollin joined the US Army National Guard and served from 1950-1952. In 1952 he was an active combat soldier in the Korean War with the rank of Private First Class. He was honorably discharged in June 1952 and was awarded the Korean Service Medal.

After the war, he enrolled in the ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles for six months. But not having any money to pursue any further, dropped out and worked for the same construction company as his father. On June 20, 1953, Rollin married his fiance’ and lifelong love of 68 years Arlene. They lived in the Los Angeles area where their first two daughters Diane and Linda were born. Shortly after the birth of Linda, they purchased a ranch in Orland, CA with his parents. The family operated a dairy farm and a 200-acre orange orchard. After three years, they sold the ranch and the entire family moved to Sunland, CA where their third daughter Shirley was born. Rollin and his wife Arlene remained in Sunland raising their three girls.

During that time, Rollin worked hard and long hours to support his family as a skilled Heavy Equipment Operator. He worked on various tasks and projects, one being involved in digging the lagoon for a famous tv show Gilligan’s Island. In the early 1980s, once the children were grown, Rollin retired to Kernville Calif., with his wife Arlene, a place where they previously loved to vacation. There Rollin taught welding at Camp Owen School for Boys for a couple years, passing along useful life skills to troubled teens. In 1989, Rollin and his wife purchased 20 acres in the secluded desert in Canebrake, Caliif. There he created a mini oasis, working his land and home for 30 years until moving to Creston Calif. to live the rest of his days with his daughter Linda and her family. Rollin was a member of the Kern River Valley Art Association, a past member of Kern River Valley Elks Lodge, and a past member of the local Gun Club.

Rollin had many hobbies and trades. Even though he lost eyesight in his left eye as a toddler, it never disabled him from the many talents he possessed. His love for painting began at age nine, and from early fatherhood, his love for oil painting really began. He received numerous awards for his artwork, entered art shows, and won many blue ribbons. His artwork has even been displayed in museums. Rollin’s love for the local desert landscape helped shape his passion to continue several beautiful oil paintings; all of which the family proudly display in their homes today.

He loved to collect antiques, scrap metal, or lava rock from his property or surrounding area and create western sculptures or wall pieces. Another pastime Rollin liked to enjoy was a dune buggy he called “Henrietta” that he hand-built from the ground up. He loved to race Henrietta off-road in the desert with friends and take his family on camping trips and wild desert travel adventures. In his downtime, he loved to read books, sit on his porch and pop open his Budweiser beer, and wake up early to feed his chopped carrots to the wild birds and rabbits on his land.

Rollin had a quick wit and a great sense of humor even up to the day before he passed. His stories, smile, laugh, handsome looks, cool pompadour hairstyle, and old tattoos were one of many things that his family will miss. He was a strong role model and an inspiration to all in his family. His love for his wife Arlene and his family ran very deep. He was the most beloved father, and grandfather, and his loss will be felt immensely. But Rollin’s legacy he left behind will live on. He will be forever missed.

Rollin is survived by his daughters Diane and Linda (Larry); his grandchildren Dana (John), David, Jeff (Meaghan), Renee (Chris), Curtis, Samuel and Jessica; his great-grandchildren Anthony, Ryan, John, Nevaeh, Jet, and Summer, and his faithful dog Molly.


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