Helen Bruce (Stubbs) Simmons
October 20, 1949-October 15, 2023, went to be with her Lord and Savior after a gallant fight with Cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. She was predeceased by her parents, William (Bill) and Mary Jane (PettyJohn) Stubbs, her sister, Carter Goad, and her two previous husbands, Thomas A. DeCastro and Lawrence (Lefty) Hamilton. She leaves her son, Riane Anthony (Tony) DeCastro, her husband, Jim Simmons and many loving members of her extended family and friends spread across the USA and England.
She met Jim at a neighborhood Presidential election returns party in Virginia in 1991 and in 1992 they were married. Helen was working at the Army Publications & Printing Command as Secretary to the Division Chief, and then to the Commander. Later she was selected to be the Secretary to the Comptroller of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Colin Powell's tenure. When Jim retired, they moved to Florida in 1997 where they were welcomed by the terrible wildfires. Her love of animals brought a calico cat named Christopher displaced by the fires, then a pup named Bridget. Their last dog, Bella, went to animal heaven in mid-June of 2023. Helen Bruce loved her Lord and felt loved by the Lord. She was active in her church life, singing in the choir, leading the Deacons team for the term, and as the Secretary of the Quilters Group. During her lifetime, she was a foster parent for over 30 children, teaching a legally blind woman how to use a sewing machine, serving in leadership roles for organizations like the Lion’s Club and the friends of DeLeon Springs State Park. She joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) thanks to her father’s lineage. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida. Helen Bruce was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Glenwood Civic Association, the Glenwood Cemetery Association, and the DeLeon Springs Community Association.
She will be greatly missed by family and friends. Pretty girl, God be with you till we meet again. Love, Jim
There will be a gathering for family and friends on October 29th, 2023 starting at 12:30 PM at Lankford Funeral Home (220 E. New York Ave, DeLand, FL 32724). The Memorial Service will start at 1:30 PM with a reception to follow.