Cover photo for "Buck" Simmons's Obituary
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1957 "Buck" 2017

"Buck" Simmons

February 4, 1957 — September 27, 2017

Redgie “Buck” Simmons, 60, of Mahnomen, MN, and a former longtime Crookston, MN resident, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, September 27, 2017, at the V.A. Medical Center in Fargo, ND, surrounded by his loving family. Buck was born in Ely, MN on February 4, 1957, one of five children of parents, Gilma and Miland.  As a youngster his family moved to Crookston, where he attended area schools.  At the age of 18 Buck enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed at Fort Polk, LA, where he earned his Expert Riflemen’s Badge. After completing advanced infantry training Buck received his orders for Fort Carson, CO. There he tried out for the Fort Carson Rifle Team and was accepted. Additionally he was a team member of the Fort Carson 50 Caliber Team, a squad leader and track commander, and part of the Battalion Demo Cadre Team. Buck received several letters of commendation and earned high merits for his many accomplishments while stationed at Fort Carson. He was extremely proud of the honorable discharges he received while patriotically serving his country with the United States Military.

Buck married the love of his life, Pamela Strande, on April 2, 1976. During their forty-one year marriage they together raised four children: Chassidy, Charridy, JR, and Crystal. Pam, and their children and grandchildren, meant the world to Buck.  Very sadly, JR was killed in a work related accident on February 9, 1996. Buck always looked forward to visits from the girls, and especially his grandsons: Jason, Heath, Hayden and Oliver.  He often said that his grandsons gave him the strength and will to live. To his last breath Buck was very proud of the family that he and his loving wife, Pam, created.

From an early age Buck enjoyed the adventures of traveling and camping, which he shared with his family until his health declined. These trips created many fond and lasting memories. His daughters continue to share that same enjoyment and passion for the outdoors, and are making new memories with their own families.

Buck had a passion for cooking. He attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston, and later the University of North Dakota, studying Culinary Arts. During his career as a chef he operated many of his own restaurants, and was also on a number of managerial teams of various other establishments.  Buck took pride in the meals he prepared and was well known for his tasty food. He was proud of his daughter, Chassidy, for sharing his passion for cooking.  At a young age she asked her father to teach her how to cook.  From that point on they were inseparable in the kitchen. As Buck would say, unfortunately his other two daughters took after their mother when it came to cooking.

The Simmons family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the wonderful caregivers at the Fargo VA Medical Center. The exceptional quality of care and compassion shown to Buck throughout the years, and especially these past several weeks, will never be forgotten.

Left to cherish Buck’s memory is his beloved wife,  Pamela; their 3 daughters and families: Chassidy (Jim) Gilbertson and their sons, Jason and Oliver, of Crookston, Charridy Simmons (special friend, Rueban) and her son, Heath, of Crookston, and Crystal (Brent) Salverson  and their son, Hayden, of Fergus Falls, MN;  3 siblings: Rich(Raenelle) Simmons, Mark (Bonnie) Simmons, and Rosalie Simmons; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law:  Pat (Tom) Brenk, Peggy (D.J.) Johnson, Jewel Strande, and Vi (Walley) Abel;  and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

In addition to his treasured son, JR, Buck was preceded in death by his parents, Miland “Bud” Simmons and Gilma Simmons Boucher; step-father, Jerome “Crow” Boucher; brother and sister-in-law, Ricky “Rino” and Audrey Simmons; parents-in-law, Gilbert and Delores Strande; step-brother, Peter Kuchan Sr,; brother-in-law, Al Strande; and nephews, Dusty Simmons and Keith Strande. May God richly bless the memory of Buck Simmons.

The funeral service and celebration of Buck’s life will be held at 1:00pm, Saturday, October 7, 2017, in the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with The Rev. Bill Reck, officiating. Visitation will be on Friday from 5-7:00pm, with a 7:00pm prayer service and sharing of memories, and will continue for one hour prior to the funeral. Graveside rites and military honors by the Moorhead, MN National Guard Honors Unit will be at 4:00pm that afternoon at the Elim Cemetery, rural Winger, MN.

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