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Re: Re(Your call): Finding Family Members of


Posted By: Sarah Thorson Little (email)
Date: 6/25/2011 at 22:51:59

In Response To: Re: Re(Your call): Finding Family Members of (Diane Whitmire)

William Marvin Simmons died on July 25, 1940. He is enumerated in San Francisco in the 1930 census as a single man. My research shows that he had one sister, Evaline Simmons who married Grant Hoon on October 14, 1897 in Cedar County, Iowa. They moved to California. Evaline and Grant had two daughters: Irma C. Hoon [July 23, 1901 in Cedar County, Iowa and died November 27, 1968 in San Bernadino, California]. She married Emil E. McCluskey and had two daughters, one deceased and one living. Evaline and Grant's other daughter was Avis Marcella Hoon [March 8, 1899, Cedar County, Iowa - October 22, 1986, San Diego, CA who married Jay W. Swain [November 2, 1880 - November 14, 1960]; They had two children, both deceased, William S. Swain [died two months ago] and Nancy A. Swain Heller. I am enclosing their obituaries.

William Marvin Simmons, Isaias W. Hellman Professor of Law and Dean of Hastings College of the Law of the University of California, died July 25, 1940, at the time of his greatest usefulness and the fullness of his powers. Born in 1885 in Stanwood, Iowa, his education was begun in Cornell College, Iowa, and the foundation of his legal learning was acquired at Harvard Law School, where he received his degree in 1911. Coming to San Francisco immediately afterward, he became associated with the late Warren Olney, Jr. The legal affairs of the Western Pacific Railroad were soon placed in Simmons' care. The partnership of Crittenden and Simmons which he formed later with W. C. Crittenden was terminated by his entrance into the First Presidio Officers' Training Camp in 1917. Commissioned as second lieutenant on the completion of his course, he elected to serve with the infantry branch of the service although he was urged repeatedly to enter the Judge Advocate General's Department. Characteristically he refused the proposed transfer with its promise of a commission as major. While in France and as Captain of Infantry with the 91st Division, Simmons participated in the Battle of the Argonne and was decorated for bravery. As a result of his war service, he suffered the loss of hearing in one ear. After the War he followed his scholarly interest in the law and remained overseas to study international and Roman law in England. When Simmons returned to San Francisco the partnership of Bell, Brookman, Simmons, and Creech was formed. Later the firm became that of Bell and Simmons. His interest in law teaching increased as his experience at Hastings College of the Law became greater. While serving on the part-time faculty he was appointed Dean and eventually he left the practice of law to devote his full time to his academic duties, which he performed with distinction.

William Simmons Swain Passed away peacefully at his beautiful San Francisco Victorian home on February 25, 2011, at 88 years of age. Bill was born in Long Beach, Ca; raised in Los Angeles and San Francisco; and was a long time resident of Oakland and San Francisco. Bill is survived by his nieces and grand-niece; Louanne Heller Petty (Leo), Linda Heller D'Angelo (Gator) and Chelsea Holton; and nephews Dan Heller and Paul Holton (Susana) and preceded in death by his sister Nancy Swain Heller (Ted) and parents Jay W. Swain and Avis H. Swain. Bill had a long and interesting life. He served in the US army with honors during WWII as a language specialist in China before completing his degree from UC Berkeley. Professionally, Bill and his business partner Bob Kates formed the business Swain and Kates organs; building, refurbishing, and maintaining many of the beautiful church pipe organs throughout the Bay area. Often described as a "Renaissance Man", Bill's interests were varied including travel, art, theater, music, history, politics, and technology. A recent accomplishment demonstrated his attention to detail combined with a love of art, music, and history when he collected, digitally restored and retouched many old photos of The Fox Theater, San Francisco (historigraphics.com/fox/swain). A portion of the photo collection is on display at the Whitcomb Hotel in San Francisco. William Simmons Swain was always a man with a positive attitude and an engaging smile, who loved to laugh and socialize. Bill was very loved by his family, colleagues, and many friends and is dearly missed.

San Francisco Chronicle -- CA
April 20, 2011

Nancy Swain Heller, age 76, peacefully passed away on Monday May 28, 2001 at her home in Thousand Oaks, California. Nancy was born in Long Beach, California and lived in Los Angeles and Palos Verdes Estates before coming to Ventura County 20 years ago. Nancy was a graduate of Los Angeles High School and U.C.L.A. (Class of 1945) with a degree in Psychology. She was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority and a former member of the National Charity League, Palos Verdes Chapter. She has been employed as a secretary and a social worker in the past. Nancy led a life of service to those in need. Nancy was always a devoted, loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother. Her tenacity, positive attitude and courage inspired everyone who knew her. She had beauty, wisdom and a wonderful sense of humor. In her final days, she continued to provide unconditional love, support and encouragement for her family and friends. She will be forever missed and always loved. Nancy was preceded in death by, Ted Heller, her husband of 40 years. She is survived by her daughters, Louanne (Leo) Petty and Linda D'Angelo; son Dan Heller grandsons, Paul Holton and Leo F. Petty; granddaughter, Kim Remynse; brother, William Swain; cousins, Dorothy and Ken Mucters; and many friends and relatives. A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday June 1, 2001 at 1:00 PM. at Pierce Brothers Griffin Mortuary, 101 E, Wilbur Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the hospice or charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Pierce Brothers Griffin Mortuary, Thousand Oaks.

Los Angeles Times - Ca
May 31, 2001

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