Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Memoriam: Essie Simms

Posted by Bruce Miller
With great appreciation for a wonderful life well lived, I am sad to report the passing of our dear friend Essie Simms this afternoon at her home at Westminster-Canterbury. Essie is pictured above with Julie Fulcher-Davis.

Essie has been an inspiration and source of great joy to many of us in the theatre community. She attended every Barksdale theatre production from our debut performance in 1954 until the summer of 2009. Her devotion was not limited to Barksdale. She was a very familiar presence at nearly every theatre in town.

Her last attendance was during a short-lived recovery in Dec of 2009 when she was back in her front row seat for the Opening of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

There will be an Episcopalian funeral service for Essie on Monday, 3 pm, in the chapel at Westminster-Canterbury. A memorial celebration of Essie's life is being planned by and for her friends in the theatre community. Information about that service will be announced on Facebook and here in the Barksdale Blog next Tuesday.

Essie's passing marks the end of an era. In the coming days, I will be writing more about her, and we will be announcing plans for a memorial service in loving celebration of her wondrous life. Until then, I share deepest sympathies with Essie's many friends and loved ones.

--Bruce Miller


philcrosby said...

Such sad news, Bruce! Essie was one the front row of just about every show RTP did as well ... and was one of the people MOST excited about our move to a new space where she didn't have to face those Fieldens stairs! She got to see our theater and shows from her favorite front row seat until her health began to fail. Essie Simms was a great friend to the entire theater community and she will be very much missed.

pnlkotula said...

Thank you Bruce. Essie was Jamie's (and our) "baseball buddy". We will mourn her passing dearly. She was an amazing woman and friend to Richmond theatre.

Janine Serresseque said...

I'm so glad I had the chance to know this grand and generous lady. May she rest in peace. There will never be another opening night that I don't think of Essie Simms.