Please join us for a Celebration of Life to remember Hildreth Simmons on Saturday, November 4, at 11:00 am in our Sanctuary. The Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins will officiate, and a reception organized by Linda van Ligten will follow the service.
Joining our congregation in 2007, Hildreth promptly becoming involved in many activities, including the Green Committee, Peace and Social Justice Committee, and the Women’s Alliance. We all enjoyed her infectious smile and invitations, and those many campaign buttons pinned to her hat and collar and jacket. Plus those T-shirts promoting the United Farm Workers, efforts to save the environment, and her treasured United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). She once said she had over 200 T-shirts, arrayed in her closet on hangers, and organized by color! She loved singing and knew a ton of songs, including many she learned with the folk music revival of the1960’s. We miss Hildreth’s sometimes outrageous, engaging, informed, and warm presence.
A longtime colleague and friend, Laura Escamilla McCutcheon, shared her tribute with us:
We celebrate the life of Hildreth Simmons. Hildreth belonged to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Monica, so it’s no surprise she rose to be one of United Teachers Los Angeles top leaders! This is because the Unitarians put their ideals into action, as did Hildreth! Her church friends lovingly served as her guardians, checking in on her regularly during the pandemic. Hildreth Simmons served as an outstanding unionist, both when she was an active teacher and when she was a retired teacher. Hildreth worked in LAUSD as a high school English teacher and as a union activist starting her first year of teaching until she passed after several months of hospitalization in 2023. As a teacher, she took a keen interest in the fight to better educate our students, especially underserved students of color, and all of the thousands of students she was entrusted to teach over decades. Moreover, she viewed the union as an essential alliance of her colleagues in which to collaborate to help in that never-ending fight for equity and justice in education for all of our vulnerable young scholars. As an active leader of the union, she was a member of the UTLA’s House of Representatives, elected to its high-level Board of Directors, and a longtime member of its Women’s Education Committee. We honor Hildreth’s dedication to uplift unions, public education, her classroom students, and ALL students which did not end with her retirement. For many years after she retired, she was in fact active in UTLA-Retired and a member of the UTLA Steering Committee. Hildreth developed long-lasting friendships with other educators that started when she was an active teacher and continued into retirement. Hildreth lives on in our memories, loved by countless others. She is and will continue to be sorely missed by her huge LAUSD-UTLA family!