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Poetry keeps 97 year old woman vibrant

By Staff | Mar 31, 2016

Anna Simons, 97, was recently recognized for her compilation of poems she has written over the years since she was in elementary school at Montgomery-Clinton School. In 1934 her "Anchors Aweigh" poem became the class song for Muncy High School where she graduated. Anna who is now residing at the Muncy Skilled Nursing Center is with her daughter, Ann Marie and son, Denny Simons both from Hughesville.

MUNCY – Just at 97, Anna Simons is not too old to tell her story, and that she does well – in writing, with lyrics and lines that reflect her thoughts, feelings, moods and everyday objects.

A special day was given to Simons at the Susquehanna Health Skilled Nursing Center in Muncy on Tuesday, March 15 where she currently resides.

Activity aide, Barbara Williams read several of Anna’s poems to the residents, volunteers and staff and highlighted some of her most noted titles such “Anchors Aweigh” that became Muncy High School’s Class Song in 1934. Anna has been writing poetry since she attended elementary school at Montgomery-Clinton School. She said she also went to Muncy High School. Later in life she resided in Hughesville where she raised her family.

Anna Simons has written more than 200 poems, and a close friend and neighbor from her church took all of the typed poems, and compiled them into a notebook which Anna hopes to have published someday. Some of her poems were also published in the Luminary during the 90’s. “I would send them to the paper every week,” she said.

Although her sight has recently failed her, Anna was still able to write a poem that she presented to her daughter Ann Marie titled “Tinker Bell” a humorous tale about her Lhasa Apso puppy. Williams read the poem to the residents who couldn’t believe Anna’s age as she looks remarkably well, they said for 97.

“It’s the cold cream she has used all these years,” acknowledged Ann Marie about her mother. “And now I use it too.”

Another poem became Muncy’s alma mater in 1935. Written in Latin “Non Finis, Sed Initium Est” meaning “It is not the end, but the beginning” was Anna’s favorite poem so far she said. “High school is not the end of anything, but the beginning of life,” Anna said, “And this became the idea for my poem.”

She added, “I can’t remember all the poems I wrote, but I wrote lots of them whenever I got the inspiration.” Having fun in life was important to her, she remarked.

“There are so many nice ones in this book,” said Williams who organized the activity day and reception at the nursing center to appreciate the well versed poetry written by such a gracious lady. Titles such as “The Milk Man” and “Political Pie” were written in the 50s and several of her poems are about birthdays and the people in her life.

Writing poems about her school days, Anna remarked, “It describes how I am and what I think. These are life’s moments.” She referred to “God’s Gift” and a few humorous ones “Ode to the Lowly Lily”, “The Flying Tree” and “The Husband.” There are also seasonal poems written such as “Halloween Night”, “Seasons” and “The Fish Story.”

Simons was a bookkeeper at Cary McFalls (later known as Springs, Inc.). She was also employed at the Millwork Company and John Savoy in Montoursville before retiring in 1980. She also worked at the Lycoming County Fair office for awhile as the bookkeeper.

She has only been at the Skilled Nursing Center since February of this year, living at home up to then according to Ann Marie, her daughter. “She has recently been writing about family activities,” said Denny Simons, Anna’s son. “She has always had a good sense of humor, a positive attitude and quick witted, with some added sarcasm in there,” he added with a smile.

She has also written journals since 1942, especially when her husband, Alvin Simons, (who passed away in 1988) went to war in the U.S. Army Air Corp.

“Unfortunately, many of her old time friends and girlfriends are not around anymore,” Denny concluded.


Muncy vs. Montgomery – 1934

“Anchors Aweigh”

Sail, Muncy, down the field;

Kick for that goal;

We’ll never change our course,

So watch Montgomery ro-o-o-oll;

Add to that score, Muncy;

Hold to that ball;

Sail Muncy, down the field, and

Fight Montgomery, Fight Montgomery, RAH!