Gloria Mozil Simmons, affectionately known as “Sissy,” was described as a person who came from humble beginnings and continued to lead a humble life.
Her family said Simmons never chased the riches in life or pursued a “pipe dream.” She never believed in the material things of the world and once stated “you can gain a lot of wealth but you can’t take that stuff to your grave.” Her family said Simmons was a great cook with a good sense of humor, which kept everyone laughing. She died on February 7. She was 69.
Simmons was born on March 4, 1942, in Helena, Arkansas, to Joseph A. Littlejohn and Mary B. Littlejohn. She was the fifth child of nine children. In 1947, her family came to Philadelphia where they made their home.
Simmons was raised in the Church of Christ and attended services regularly with her family. She received her education from the Bache-Martin Public School. While attending there, she excelled in the trade of seamstress. She was also involved in the performing arts.
She married James Edward Simmons in 1965. From this union was born two children, Gail Simmons and James Simmons Jr.
During her adult life, Simmons returned to school to finish her studies at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. While there she reunited with many friends from the hearing-impaired community.
Simmons worked for the Salvation Army, then later became a Master Seamstress with the Women’s Garment Union of Philadelphia. Simmons later retired and traveled to Virginia, Washington, Maryland and Atlanta to visit family, especially her grandchildren.
Simmons maintained a comprehensive library on books about religion, nature and life. She would invite friends over spending hours together, discussing religion and intellectual subjects into the night. She did a lot of reading to motivate herself — this led Simmons becoming a devout Jehovah Witness. In 2003 she gained qualification as a publisher and made door-to-door visits to homes in the community.
Simmons was baptized in 2007. She attended services at the Kingdom Hall and traveled extensively with the ministry until her health began fail. She was an active member of the Philadelphia Silent Social Club and the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf.
Simmons leaves to mourn: two children, Gail Simmons and James Simmons Jr.; four siblings, Juanita Passmore, Claudette Harris, Joseph Littlejohn and Dottie Dee Littlejohn; two grandchildren, Jahmella Simmons and Preshana Simmons; great-grandson, Mason Bray; and a host of nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall 6826 Ardleigh Ave. The viewing will be at 8 a.m. The service will start at 9 a.m. Slater Funeral Home handled the arrangements.