McCall Gardens

Reverend Thomas Maxwell Simms, of Victoria, British Columbia, peacefully passed away on May 13, 2017, with Marion, his loving wife by his side, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Tom was born on January 27, 1936, in Buchans, NL, to Hayward Chesley Simms and Eileen Mary Josephine (Basha). Tom grew up in Buchans and attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, where he met the love of his life, Marion Hicks. Tom graduated from Pine Hill Divinity Hall in 1965, becoming a minister of the United Church of Canada.

Tom married Marion on August 26, 1957. They lived in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia as Tom answered God’s call. Behind his twinkling eyes, jokes and sense of fun, lay his deep belief in the presence of God. He could find God’s beauty everywhere, especially in nature.

Tom enjoyed playing hockey and skiing in his younger days and no pin was left standing in his bowling years. Tom is the reason that the fish tremble in all the ponds, brooks and lakes across this beautiful country. Tom played a wicked hand of Bridge. Who can forget the “Three no trump,” being thrown around the table? Tom enjoyed watching Blue Jays baseball; he was a fan to his very core. Tom also enjoyed the quiet peacefulness of his cabin by the shores of Red Indian Lake where he would challenge himself in learning to paint, write and memorize poetry.

Left to carry on Tom’s happy legacy are his children, Susan of Chelsea, QC, Jon (Leanne Robb) of Victoria, BC, Christopher (Jodylynn Welsh) of Victoria, BC, and Thomasine (James Marjerrison) of Buchans, NL; nine grandchildren, Andrew, Tyh (Sarah Skrzek), Julia (Ryan Nielson), Alexander (Samantha Thompson), Colbran, Roxanne, Russell, Stephen and Wesley, one great-grandchild, Lily, his brother Hayward (Josephine), his two sisters, Elizabeth (Don Slater), and Lorraine (Doug Parry) and many nieces and nephews. Tom was predeceased by his parents; two sisters, Joan and Helen; and two brothers, Robert and Griffen.

The family would like to thank the exceptional staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. A special mention is also made to Dr. Christopher Galanos and to Dr. Richard Mildenberger for their for kindness and excellent care over the years. Many thanks as well to the staff and residents at The Wellesley, who made Tom’s final years so meaningful and joyful.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 2 p.m. in the Magnolia Room at The Wellesley, 2800 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC. A memorial service will follow in Buchans, NL on Saturday, July 29 at 11 am, where Tom’s ashes will be laid to rest.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the United Church of Canada Mission and Service Fund, the Heart and Stroke Foundation or you may also do an unexpected act of kindness to someone of your choosing in Tom’s honour.

“This world is not conclusion, a sequel stands beyond, invisible, as music, but positive, as sound…” – Emily Dickinson

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens


  • Fokko Weistra
    September 27, 2017

    We are shocked, reading on the internet that a great friend is passing away.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Marion and the family.

    Fokko &Henni
    The Netherlands

  • Dianne & Fred Nichols
    June 13, 2017

    To Marion and the Simms Family
    So sorry to read about Tom’s passing in Victoria .
    We were pleased to have met and got to know both Tom and Marion who made us feel welcome in Victoria . Out lives have been blessed by your kindness and we have thought about you often. As you travel back to buchans may you and your family find peace and comfort when he is laid to rest in a place that he loved. We will remember him fondly as a good man and a minister.

  • Michelle Flaherty
    May 21, 2017

    Dear Susan and family, Sending our thoughts and deepest condolences to you. Love, Michelle, Blake, Chloe and Olivia.

  • John Alvin Pelter
    May 20, 2017

    Meeting Tom was liking Tom. His cheery presence was always appreciated. May it comfort you to know that your loss is shared by so many. I wish I had known him longer.

  • Joan MacLeod
    May 18, 2017

    Marion and family Tom and his twinkling eyes and his love of the outdoor life made him a special person. He was an inspiration to so many of us at Centennial United and will be greatly missed, God Bless all Tom’s family and remember the good memories

  • Francis LeBlanc
    May 18, 2017

    Francis, Céline, and Nibal, staff at the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, where Reverend Simms’ daughter Susan is an invaluable colleague and friend, wish to express our sincere condolences and those of the Association at Reverend Simms passing. We hope the loving testimony of family and friends and will alleviate the sense of loss. We are thinking of you, Susan!

  • Stephen and Joan Kitchen
    May 18, 2017

    Dear Susan and the full family,

    We send you our heartfelt condolences as your father leaves us to discover poetry and fishing spots on our own.

    May you find whatever soothes your spirit, comforts your soul, binds your wounds, and brings you peace.

  • Bernice Hawco
    May 17, 2017

    My sincere and deepest condolences to Josephine and Hayward and to all your families! Hugs!

  • Nancy and Paul Landry
    May 17, 2017

    Dear Susan and family,

    Our sympathies in the loss of your beloved father. May you find comfort knowing his suffering is over. May the good memories bring you laughter and joy.

    You are in our prayers.

    Nancy and Paul Landry

  • Marg (Hawco) Perry
    May 17, 2017

    Deepest Sympathy to Josephine and Hayward and the Simms Family.Thinking about you at this difficult time.Prayers going your way..God Bless..

  • Gerald Ivany
    May 17, 2017

    To: Thomasine and James and the Simms Family
    So sorry to hear of your dads passing.
    Buchans has lost a true Buccaneer.
    Hold your memories in your hearts.
    Glenda and I are thinking of you.
    Gerald Ivany

  • Pauline Carroll Andrew
    May 17, 2017

    My condolences to your family and my thoughts and prayers.
    My parents knew Tom and all of his family. My father worked for Mr. SIMMS.

  • Lyn Murta
    May 16, 2017

    Dear Susan and family.
    So sorry to hear of your dear fathers passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you.
    Hon. Jack and Lyn Murta

  • Janet Piercey
    May 16, 2017

    Prayers and condolences to all the family

  • Norma and Jim winsor
    May 16, 2017

    Deepest sympathy to Marion and the Simms family, Marion and tom were the best people you could ever meet, loved them so much. We have wonderful memories of a great man .

  • Laura (Higdon) and Len Williams
    May 16, 2017

    To the Simms family:
    Len and I are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Tom and we send our sincere condolences to all of you. The Simms family held a special place in the heart of all Buchaneers and it was always a joy to see Tom return in the summer time and take up residence in the family cabin on the shores of his beloved Red Indian Lake. I will never forget when Hayward and I attended our 50th. class reunion and Tom played a big role in that. At the dedication of a tree to honour the memory of our parents and classmates who had passed away I had to recite the Twenty-third Psalm. Tom stood right behind me in case I would forget a line. I did not forget but it was wonderful to know that if I had, he was there to help. That memory will stay with me forever. Just recently I was reading a poem he wrote about his hometown. His loyalty and love were so obvious. I am sorry I cannot get to Buchans on the 27th but I will be thinking of you all and wishing you peace. May memories of happier days when all of you were together bring comfort and healing to you. God bless you.

  • Jean Burry
    May 16, 2017

    To the family of Tom. I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Another proud Buchaneer has left us. I remember him and the family well. Hayward was my classmate at Buchans Public School. Tom was at our 50th class of 1958 reunion. I know of his love of nature and what being at the cabin meant to him. The church was his calling and he served it well. My sincere condolences to his wife and family and to the Simms family. Thinking of you. God Bless you all and bring you comfort and peace at this difficult time.

  • Garry & Barbara Pinsent
    May 16, 2017

    Sending our deepest condolences to all the family and families. Our thoughts and prayers are will you.

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