Mr. Henry "Hank" Simms

  • Born: May 25, 1923
  • Died: August 7, 2013
  • Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas

Gross Funeral Home

120 Wrights Lane
Hot Springs, AR 71913
Tel. (501) 624-1244

Tribute & Message From The Family

Henry F. (Hank) Simms, born May 25, 1923, loving son of Frank W. and Margaret A. Simms, adoring husband of Elinor E. (Moe) Simms and the beloved father of Shannon Simms of Wilmington, N.C., Stefanie Simms of Los Angeles, CA., Kevin Simms of Salt Lake City, Utah and Frank Simms of Las Vegas, NV., passed away on August 7, 2013
He is further survived by his two grandsons, Kyle Christopher Simms, and Gage Henry Simms of Salt Lake City, Utah. He was predeceased by his dear wife, Moe, his brother Frank A. Simms of Stamford, CT and his sister Sally Simms of John's Island, FL.
Hank was born and reared in Tulas, OK, graduating from Tulsa Central High School in 1940. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and after bsic training in Sheppard Field, Texas, was sent to Officers Training School in Boca Raton, FL., thence to Yale University where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Following assignment to a training station in Mountain Home Idaho, he joined a B-24 Bomber Group, the 456th, in Muroc Dry Lake, CA. Shortly afterwards, the Group was ordered to Stornara, Italy where Simms was successively an Assistant Squadron Engineering Officer, Head of the Technical Inspectors at Group Headquarters (in which capacity he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant) and finally a Squadron Engineering Officer. In the later position, he was promoted to Captain.
At war's end, he returned to Oklahoma University and later attended Tulsa University. With the encouragement of his brother, Frank, he entered the field of radio announcing, and after broadcasting jobs in Tulsa, Wichita, and Dallas, he moved to Los Angeles, and thence to Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1951 during the Korean War, he was recalled to the Air Force and promoted to Major. Being and avid golfer, he joined Oahu C.C. during that period. Soon afterwards, he met his wife to be, Moe, while they were greeting arriving mutual friends at the Honolulu Airport. The two were married in Oklahoma City in 1954.
After one more year in Hawaii, the Simmses moved to Los Angeles in order that Hank might enter the freelance radio and television announcing fields. He continued to work in that capacity in L.A. for the next 25 years, including announcing "The Johnny Carson Show', "The Academy Awards" for 26 years, "The Emmy Awards", "The Golden Globes", and some 15 Quinn Martin Productions shows including "The FBI", "Cannon", "The Streets of San Francisco", and "Barnaby Jones." The Simmses became affiliated with the Wilshire C.C. in LA and Hank served as President of the Club in 1979-80.
He retired to John's Island in Vero Beach, FL where he and his wife lived for ten years and pursued their shared interests in golf and bridge. In order to be closer to their California- based children, they later moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Joining Belvedere Country Club there, they both continued to follow their mutual loves of golf and bridge.
Despite Hank's strong attachment to the Catholic Church and his weekly duties as Lector for the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity at St. Michael's, he has requested there be no funeral or memorial service in his behalf.
And in lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to either the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, or to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation UCLA in Los Angeles, CA.

Condolence & Memory Journal

My Mom And Dad Michael J and Betty J Baglio Met Hank in Hawaii . My Dad was the leader of a Big band playing clubs in Hawaii and became good friends with Hank And his wife Moe. Over the years children were born to each side and that's when Hank became my God Father. The one thing I will always remember was Hanks quick wit and his letter writing and of course listening to him announce the Academy Awards. We always kept in touch via letters not only between he and I but also my Mom and Dad. He will missed and thought of always.

Posted by Michael D. Baglio - Atascadero, CA - Godchild   January 09, 2014

We will miss you a ton Uncle. Laura and I were honored for you to speak at our wedding and your proud voice and wonderful spirit will be sorely missed. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.


Posted by Ross Eastman - Houston, TX - Nephew   September 09, 2013


I was one of Hank's Caregivers. It was a honor to take care of him the latter part of his life. I witnessed the smiles on his face when his children called and when his special friend Barbara visited.
I'm a better person because I knew him.
He was my buddy and I miss him...

Posted by Cathy Wells - Malvern, AR - Caregiver   August 12, 2013