Cremation starting at $749


– Life Story Gary Simmons of Eagle, Idaho, beloved husband, dad, grandpa, friend, passed away June 19, 2022, at the age of eighty-six. Gary was born in Salt Lake City May 6, 1936, to Glenn and Irelia Simmons. Gary graduated from Twin Falls High School with the Class of 1954, where he played team basketball with great passion under coach Dan Folkins who taught him personal values, how to be competitive, technical basketball skills and the importance of academic excellence. Gary worked as head lifeguard at the Harmon Park Pool during the summers and was presented with The Key to Twin Falls City by the Mayor for his local accomplishments and contributions.Gary received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Idaho in 1958, attending on an athletic scholarship where he excelled in basketball, scoring 38 points against USC and 37 points against a John Wooden coached UCLA team. Gary was called “little man” by the sports writers as he stood only 5’11” tall. Gary still holds the Vandal record for most consecutive free throws made (26), he made a total of 339 free throws and held the University’s scoring record for more than 30 years. Gary made four All-American teams his senior year and shared the honor on the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars with NBA greats Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West. Gary was named one of the fifty best athletes in Idaho by Sports Illustrated Magazine. Gary was inspired and motivated by his coaches, instructors, and the men at Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.Later, at a special half-time ceremony (Idaho vs. Montana) at the Idaho Center in Nampa, his U of I basketball jersey Number 6 was retired on December 5, 1999 and is now displayed at the Kibbee Dome, honoring him as an Academic All American for his scholarship achievements and outstanding basketball skills. Governor Dirk Kempthorne declared to be “Gary Simmons Day” for the state of Idaho on December 5, 1999. He was inducted into the Idaho High School Hall of Fame as Player of the Century, and into the prestigious Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame.Gary went on to earn a Doctor of Dentistry from University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Gary then served in the military as an Army Captain at Fort Ord in Monterey, California where he played on the All Army Basketball Team in 1963, under legendary coach Pete Newell. Following further studies at the Presidio in San Francisco, Gary did oral surgery in the army. Gary practiced dentistry for 38 years in Twin Falls, Santa Cruz, and Salinas, California.Gary met his wife Janet in 1964, on a blind date in Monterey, they were married in the Carmel Mission, and were married 57 years. They first lived in Twin Falls, Idaho where their son John was born. This is where Gary started his dental practice. They moved to California and lived in Felton and later moved to Salinas where both Jenn and Sue were born. They belonged to the Chamisal Tennis Club and Corral De Tierra Country Club. Later they moved to Surprise, Arizona, McCall, Idaho and then Eagle, Idaho. Wherever they lived, Gary played golf and shot a hole in one on six different golf courses. When Gary was 65 years old, he shot a 65 at the McCall Golf Course. He relished serving as a spotter for CBS Sports for the PGA CrosbyAT&T ProAm in Pebble Beach.Gary had an enthusiastic sense of humor, was funny and charismatic. He would wear buck-teeth that he had made as a joke and people called them his “Billy Bob” teeth. He had an amazing memory for limericks and jokes which he would recite from time to time. He also enjoyed writing poetry and making beautiful jewelry. Gary influenced many lives with his Christian testimony and his living faith in Jesus Christ.Gary and Janet have three children, John Simmons, Jenn Lemons, and Sue Benson, and six grandchildren, Taylor and Katelyn Simmons, Marco and Emmy Benson, and Jake and Luke Lemons. The family shares countless memories of time together enjoying meals, celebrating holidays and birthdays, snow skiing, golfing, playing tennis and vacations in Cabo San Lucas. Gary treasured his family and will be greatly missed. 

A Celebration of Life for Gary will be held at BanBury Golf Course Clubhouse on Saturday, July 23rd. All are welcome to visit with the family and share your memories.


  • Stacey (Taylor)Ciddio Posted July 21, 2022 8:50 pm

    Jen and family
    I am so sorry to hear about your dads passing. There are no words to heal what you’re going through, but hopefully the memories that you have with him are comforting and knowing he is in a better place. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.
    Your dad was a great man and dentist(and really knew how to give a shot), His smile could light up a room and his laughter was contagious even when you were walking in to have a filling, you might of been scared but you were scared silly by all of his jokes.

  • Dale Gieg Posted October 25, 2022 7:53 pm

    Dear Family,
    So sorry to learn of your loss. What a wonderful man. He was my dentist and golf buddy. He had the best stories and was a good listener of mine. His golf game was the best. Very casually broke 80 most of the time. We lost touch when he moved to Arizona. Another one of our golf buddies just found out as I did and said the very words that came to me, “I feel like crying”. Again family a great man indeed.

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