Barbara Jean Simms

November 11, 1934 - July 15, 2020

Simms, Barbara Obituary

                                 Barbara Simms Life Journey


Barbara Jean Hall Simms was born on November 11, 1934 to the late

Frederick T. Hall and Sarah Walker Ross Hall in Washington, DC. The

youngest of ten siblings, Barbara was a strong leader, compassionate in her

faith, and loving to all her family and friends. She was baptized in 1940 at Mt.

Airy Baptist Church of Washington, DC, under the late Rev. E.K. Tyler. 


She attended the public schools of the District of Columbia and graduated from

the prestigious Paul Lawrence Dunbar Senior High School in 1952. She

continued her studies at D.C. Teachers College where she dreamed of

becoming a physical therapist. However, Barbara made the decision to end

her studies and seek employment because she was determined that her

aging parents would live out their final years in a home of their own – a

dream she was able to achieve and that home, affectionately known as

“5030,” was the Walker-Ross-Hall family hub for many, many years.


Barbara worked for thirty years at the Department of Interior as an

administrative assistant. She retired in 1983 to help care for her

grandchildren and family. Her love of family was evident in how she opened

her home and heart. Her nieces and nephews could count on her to provide a

place to stay a few dollars in their pockets, a good meal, and some advice to

help you get it right. Barbara cared for her siblings, especially her brothers

the late John Ross and the late Rev. James Hall, and her sister, the late

Dorothy Raymond, fulfilling a promise she made to her dying mother. Her

bond with her sisters was incredible, singing along with her sister Dorothy

Raymond with the Seven Sisters ensemble, serving along with her sister

Vivian Armstrong at Mt. Airy, and attending church, traveling, and shopping

with her sister Grace Minor. She loved her sister Bernice Ross Harrod and

youngest brother Frederick “Freddie” Hall who died less than a year apart

when she was a young teenager.


Barbara served her church community for over 70 years until her health

declined. She was known for her strong alto voice having sung in various

choirs that included the Chapel Choir, Second Choir, Sanctuary Choir, the

Seven Sisters. She faithfully attended Sunday School, served in numerous

church ministries – the financial secretary, administrative secretary for the

late Rev. Dr. Rafe M. Taylor, and co-headed the church’s progressive Feed

the Hungry outreach program in the 90’s that served the city’s homeless

every month with meals cooked from the heart. Barbara also served as an

administrative secretary to the late Rev. Morris L. Shearin of Israel Baptist

Church in Washington DC.

Barbara married the late James Simms and from that union came her only

daughter, Janelle A. Simms. She cherished her role as mother and provider

and worked to ensure her daughter had everything she needed and was able

to earn what she could not, a college diploma (University of Maryland,

College Park), which she proudly displayed in her home for everyone to view.

Barbara instilled in her daughter a strong work ethic, a powerful alto singing

voice, and most importantly a love for the Lord and the work of the Kingdom.


Barbara’s next act as a grandmother and great-grandmother allowed her to

continue to instill in her family a strong legacy of service to God and the local

church, service to family and community, and seizing the opportunities that a

strong work ethic and higher education can provide. Her love for her “girls”

Danielle and Chanelle, and her only grandson Michael went unmatched. 

She was their grandmother, cook, chauffeur, cheerleader, disciplinarian (when

needed), financial advisor, prayer partner, spoiler, and friend. In her later

years, Barbara became a great-grandmother to four boys, and even when

her health began to fail, she made sure they all stayed in line. She delighted

in visits with her family and even her last few days on earth, she shared a few

laughs with her daughter, granddaughters, and great-grandsons.



July 31, 2020
11:00 AM

Funeral Service
R N Horton Funeral Home

600 Kennedy St, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Get Driving Directions



July 31, 2020
10:30 AM

Live Streaming

Horton Chapel 600 Kennedy Sts, NW
Washington, DC 20011
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