Henrietta Augustine Smith was born May 21, 1946 to Henry and Clemmie Newton. She was one of five children. Her family was one of a few Black families living in Salt Lake City, Utah and was very close. She loved to be called Sugar Pie by her father.
In 1959 Henrietta met Bobby Barnes and a year later they had a daughter, Sherrie. She later met and married Freeman Simmons and they had two sons Tito and Clement, and one daughter Rikki.
Henrietta loved to travel. She’s lived in El Paso, Texas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California, but found her home permanently in Kansas City in 1973. She raised her family here in the Kansas City area. She experienced a lot in life and was married two additional times. She worked at the state capital in Utah, for the Kansas City Kansas police department, and retired from the Area Transportation Authority in Missouri.
Her grandchildren affectionately called her “Granny” and she was big on family. She loved having family gatherings and seeking out long lost family members. She stayed in touch with her family across the country and would spend hours on the phone reminiscing of good times. She loved to talk and would start a conversation with any and everyone.
Henrietta was an overcomer. She won her battle with cancer, survived a heart attack, recovered from a train wreck in 1997 that broke 3 vertebrae in her back and both sides of her hips. She walked with a walker and eventually had to use a motorized chair to get around. Despite her condition she had a positive attitude and cheerful disposition on life. She was a fighter and maintained her will to live. She had enormous faith and trusted that God would see her through.
She spent her last few months in hospice and was very well taken care of by the ladies who worked for Crystal Home Health Care. Henrietta made her transition at home as she requested of her family.
She was preceded in death by both parents; sisters, Ruby and Mildred; brother, Henry Jr.; daughter, Sherrie Simmons; and son, Clement Simmons.
She leaves to carry on her love and legacy, her son, Tito Simmons; her daughter, Rikki Simmons; grandson, Joseph Pippins (Jennifer); her granddaughters, Tashia Brooks (James); Myanah Simmons; Ashley Simmons; Michelle Simmons and Meisha Simmons; one sister, Rosetta Newton; great grandchildren, Joseph Jr.; Jada; Jachai; Jasmine; Shaun; Esaias and Zion; and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.
Henrietta touched the lives of many people. She will forever be remembered in our hearts.
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