Lt. Col. Michael P. Simmons, USAFR, Ret., of Wasilla, passed away of natural causes while hunting on September 11, 2018. He is survived by his wife of over 25 years, Helen D. Simmons; two sons, Brooks and Andrew; and a brother, Chris Simmons. He was a career pilot with over 32 years of flying experiences but he will be most remembered as a devoted husband, father, friend, and warrior who served his country unselfishly. He was born on July 28, 1964, and was raised in Charleston, SC, before joining the military, marrying Helen, raising Brooks and Andrew, and experiencing a successful flying career with United Parcel Service. He was happiest with Helen, Brooks and Andrew in the outdoors, both fishing and hunting and he loved to travel on family vacations to destinations that encouraged outdoor activities. His commitment to his family and friends was unrivaled through his innate ability to always put others first. His quick wit, contagious smile, humility, and humorous phone conversations were his unique trademarks that will truly be missed by everyone who has ever met him. He ensured that any of his many friends were welcomed in his home and he made sure that they had access to his favorite fishing/hunting destinations, often at the expense of him not catching the biggest fish or killing the hunted game. After growing up in Charleston, he attended The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. He then served in the USAF and USAFR as a Command Pilot in numerous military assignments that included: Columbus AFB (MS), McGuire AFB (NJ), Altus AFB (OK), and Charleston AFB (SC). His military flying career culminated in being selected as the Wing’s Chief Evaluator/Special Operations Low Level II Pilot in the C-141B and subsequently flew as a Command Pilot in the C-17A. He flew combat operations in Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His distinguished military career earned him numerous decorations and accolades for his service to our country. In 2001, he was hired by UPS and was qualified in both the B-747 and MD-11 aircraft. He was most recently a Captain in the MD-11, domiciled in Anchorage (AK). There will be a celebration of life the first week of October in Alaska and another celebration to follow in South Carolina on November 24, 2018.

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Posted on: 2018-09-18

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