OBITUARY

Kevin Benjamin Simmons

July 7, 1965January 16, 2021

Kevin B. Simmons 1965-2021

Portland - Kevin Benjamin Simmons, 55, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 16, 2021, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, Scarborough, Maine after a long illness, with his loving partner by his side.

Born in Portland, Maine on July 7, 1965, to Robert A. Simmons and Jean C. (Russo) Simmons, Kevin attended Portland schools and graduated from Portland High School in 1984. After attending college, pursuing an education in hotel management, he immediately began working in the hospitality field. In 1994, Kevin purchased his first hotel, The Caribou Inn and Convention Center, at only 28 years old. Just a few years later, he purchased his second property, The Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, in 2000.

Family was incredibly important to Kevin. He was a devoted companion to his partner, David, for 20+ years and an obsessive “dad” to their beloved military macaw, Tank. He prided himself on being a good son, brother, and nephew and absolutely adored his three nieces to whom he will always be known as their “Uncle Boo Boo.”

Kevin’s medical journey began in 2005 when he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, subsequently having a bone marrow transplant in 2007. While innumerable health challenges occurred in the years that followed, Kevin courageously fought through them, adapting to changes and limitations without complaint, determined to live a full and complete life.

An avid traveller, Kevin and David’s adventures took them all around the country, frequently to Mexico and throughout the Caribbean, and on several trips to Europe. However, there was no place Kevin enjoyed travelling more to than their home in Punta Gorda, Florida – Kevin’s true “happy place.”

No one loved food more than Kevin. Like his mom before him, he had a gift to be able to take whatever may be available in the pantry that day and concoct an incredible meal. Beyond his culinary talents, he also had a passion for eating – from home-cooked meals to gourmet restaurants and everything in between. It would not be uncommon for Kevin to be eagerly discussing his next meal while eating his current one.

A deep passion for music, Kevin’s summer months were spent attending live concerts around New England as well as theater – from local productions to national tours, throughout the year.

Interests and hobbies aside, most significantly, as a cancer survivor, Kevin felt the importance of providing support to other cancer patients. He joined several leukemia, bone marrow transplant and graft versus host disease support groups, guiding newly diagnosed patients through their illness, providing ongoing encouragement and hope for life beyond cancer. He was an inspiration and a bright light to so many during their darkest times.

Kevin was pre-deceased by his parents, Uncle Anthony Russo, Uncle Peter W. Lamb, Sr., Uncle Linwood “Archie” Archambeau, Aunt Caroline J. (Kennedy) Archambeau and Sister-In-Law Rosemary Simmons. In addition to his life partner, David Katz of Boston, he is survived by his aunt, Patricia Lamb of Portland, his brothers, Robert A. Simmons, Jr. of Windham, and Edward A. Simmons and his wife, Beth, of Buxton. He also leaves his three beloved nieces, Jessica Simmons of Portland, Samantha Simmons of Augusta, and Emily Simmons of Buxton.

Due to COVID restrictions, upcoming services will be private. A celebration of Kevin’s life will be held at a later date.

The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to all of the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at New England Cancer Specialists, Maine Medical Center, The Kraft Family Blood Donor Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

As Dana-Farber was so integral to Kevin’s leukemia treatment and recovery over the years, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Kevin B. Simmons to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.jimmyfund.org/gift.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Kevin Benjamin Simmons

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Loyd Bowerman

January 22, 2021

My deepest condolences to all family and loved ones. Kevin will certainly be missed.

Aron Foster

January 21, 2021

I did not know Kevin personally but David and I have been friends for well over 10 years, thank you Bertucci’s pizza, I know how truly happy they made each other, it was pure love, something we all strive for. And despite the pain so many are feeling right now, myself included, it does fade and you learn to live without him because we must but David also know the love and support that you have standing by your side to get you and his family threw this. You’re a strong man David and one day you and the entire family will smile again.

Fred Aronson, MD

January 21, 2021

My condolences to David and all of Kevin’s family. What a wonderful man. I have many fond memories of our time together. I was blessed to have known Kevin and to have helped at the start of his journey with leukemia. God bless you all in this difficult time.

Rosalie Blenkhorn

January 21, 2021

Profoundly sorry to hear of Kevin’s passing. His Kraft Blood Center family will deeply miss him. Many fond memories of Kevin during his ECP treatments. He always “shined up” the room!

Rosalie Blenkhorn

Scot Robinson

January 21, 2021

Kevin, was my boss for over 9.5 years at P.I. Inn. He was a fighter and expected excellence. He did well with what he had. I was saddened when I found out of his passing. He liked to tease if he liked you. He had a keen sense for good things and was an encouragement. I know he will be sorely missed.

Daniel Deschaine

January 20, 2021

Kevin is a great friend I found when I moved to the Presque isle area as a Maine State Trooper. Always optimistic and happy and inviting us into his friendship at the motel where we used to hang out occasionally on weekends. Kevin liked to plan things and when he did, they were big and Debbie was usually had a part of it. Just last year I tried to help a drug addict out to recovery. In talking with Kevin he gave the young man a job. Not only did Kevin give him a job but he also tried to help him straighten his life out by talking with him and giving him sound advice. Unfortunately drugs took a stronger hold of the young man than Kevin was able to. Kevin took him back 3 times to try and help him straighten out his life but the young man stayed with his drug addiction and failed to show up for work. Kevin said that he would take him back if he could get off drugs
And that's how Kevin was. Always giving people chances and seeing the better in them.
Rest in PEACE my friend and know that your are loved by those who crossed your wonderful path. May you be with God our Father and have the joys of heaven.

Rene Champagne

January 20, 2021

Kevin you were not hesitant to hire me a city slicker line cook from Portland and take me on board in 1999 at The Caribou Inn and Convention Center . Where I teamed up with Mark DeCarlo and Scott Michaud (AKA) the A-Team . You were a thoughtful soul . You helped me out in my time need .I bought a camper and was planning to visit in the spring with my wife Monique to visit Caribou and The Greenhouse. Rest in peace my friend and God Bless

Kevin sharp

January 20, 2021

I had the privilege of meet Kevin many years ago and just briefly as I applied for a job at the Caribou Inn and convention center. He was a kind and hospitable man.

Debi Smith

January 19, 2021

Dear Kevin...when we first met in 1996, I never knew the great adventures we would share but great they were and the memories will stay with me forever...I can’t believe you’re gone but your spirit will be with me always. Say hi to Gram and your folks for me. You will be missed.
My deepest condolences to the family.

Marjorie Pelzer

January 19, 2021

Rest in the loving arms of all that were there to greet you. I hope you find peace in the fact that you fought and gave so much to so many. R.I.P.

FROM THE FAMILY