Ada Elizabeth Simms RNBN, MHSA, MTh

September 21, 1932 to October 15, 2020


Passed peacefully away on October 15, 2020, aged 88 years, into the Loving Arms of God, her parents and her two sisters, Jean and Marjorie. Ada was born on September 21, 1932 to Charlie Simms of Fogo and Bessie Clarke-Simms formerly of Springdale.  She grew up as a child in St. John’s on Lesley Street, the youngest of three children.   Ada moved from St. John’s to Clarkes Beach in 1972 and it was there that she lived out her life until her admission to long-term care in 2015. Ada leaves to mourn a circle of family and friends whom she adored and loved until her passing.

Ada was a true trailblazer who achieved many milestones in her 40 years of nursing before she retired in 1993. She was one of the very first nurses in the province to have obtained a postgraduate diploma. In 1959, Ada obtained her Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from McGill University and went on to complete a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta.  Other accomplishments included receiving a Master’s of Theology degree from Queen’s College and being recognized for her exemplary service and devotion to the public when she was named Serving Sister of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, an honour bestowed upon her by the Governor General of Canada in 1999.

All throughout Ada’s life she felt it was important to give of her knowledge and time by serving on various committees and associations.  She was a strong advocate for changes in Newfoundland’s healthcare system and especially those that would have a positive impact on the province’s people.  She also was quite passionate about and contributed to many other worthwhile causes such as the eradication of the exploitation of children and the prevention of cruelty to animals.   Ada was a strong force to be reckoned with and a very independent woman. She loved Newfoundland dearly having said many times that this would always be her home of choice even though she had travelled and seen many other places.

From a professional standpoint, Ada had contributed significantly to the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL) and even served as its President from 1980 to 1982.  During this time, the association carried out many ventures under her leadership such as the hosting of the Canadian Nurses Association biennial, the purchasing of ARNNL House, and the transition from basic nursing education to baccalaureate education within the province. For these and her many other contributions to the nursing profession and to healthcare, Ada was honoured by the ARNNL and given the award of Honorary Membership.

Ada’s family would like to especially thank the doctors and nurses at Pleasant View Towers 3SE for the compassionate care that she received over the past 5 years. Please know that the kindness you showed to her during her time there will never be forgotten.   It was a comfort to us all knowing that she lived out her final days in a place that showed her such dignity and respect that she so deserved.   Your recognition of who she was with regards to her positive impact on the nursing profession will forever remain in our hearts and her memory will live on in the legacy she left behind.  May she forever receive all the blessings of heaven for all the good deeds that she did here on earth.

Resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Sunday, October 18 from 7-9 p.m. A funeral service will be held from The Carnell Memorial Chapel on Monday, October 19 at 10 a.m., with interment to follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Flowers gratefully accepted, or memorial donations may be made to St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Shearstown.

May your perpetual light shine upon her, O Lord, and may she rest in peace.  Amen.



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Aunt Ada was my mother’s best friend and “sister.” She was so much fun and full of life, so wise and caring. She will be sorely missed by many. Wishing you a peaceful passage, Aunt Ada.

I have always called Ada, Aunt Ada as she was a dear friend of my mother’s, Joyce Carrington. She was also my godmother. We will miss her.

Rest In Peace Ada. I met you at Lions Manor.

Sincere condolences to Ada’s family, friends and associates. Ada and I were on a not for profit board together. She was well respected and brought strength and commitment to everything she did. She will be missed.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Ada. Some years ago I met Ada while employed as a home support worker with the late Frank & Marjorie Simms.I quickly came to realize her extensive nursing knowledge and experience, compassion and caring. She and I were in contactuntil her I’ll health broke our connection. Know Ada and all who mourn her loss are in thought & prayer.God Bless!

Ada has been a friend of ours for many years. Her long term illness and now her death, separated us from the many joyful times we shared together but, the memories remain on land (North River) or on the sea (Percy’s yacht). She was a solid friend who excelled well in her medical and theological achievements. Sadness marks our separation here, but joy will be restored in God’s eternal plan.
Velma and Berkley Reynolds

On behalf of Queen’s College Faculty of Theology, i extend condolences to Ada’s families …. biological, professional, and spiritual. Ada was an inspiration and example to fellow students in her years at Queen’s. She has been a generous benefactor .

Sincere condolences to Ada’s Family, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow I always said Hi to her when I visit my Mom. She will be missed

My sincere sympathies to “Miss Simms’ “friends and family.. Remembering her from my student nursing days at The General, it was such a pleasure for me to meet up with her in Clarke’s Beach… We had a few great chats about the happenings at the old General recalling notable doctors and instructions that we both remembered. … just loved her sense of humour…..
Rest peacefully, Miss Simms.
Sincerely , Gloria (Stanley) Stewart

Our condolences to Ada’s family. Although we have lost contact over the years we have many lovely memories of the Simms’s sisters when Ada and her sister Jean lived at Midstream Manor 37 Topsail Road. She lived a great life and certainly contributed to the Newfoundland and Labrador medical profession. Rest in peace Ada.

Sincere condolences to all Ada’s family and Friends and notably her nursing colleagues whom she worked alongside of over her many years as a nurse and a nurse leader. she left her mark on many people and the profession. CRNNL

Rest in heavenly peace dear Ada–my special, thoughtful, kind, faithful friend and nursing colleague.
Violet Squires Ruelokke

Ada Simms, she was to be feared & respected all at once. She was an advocate for her staff and patients. She accomplished so much in the world of nursing. It was an honor to work with her during my nursing career at Carbonear General Hospital. I had the privilege of being her friend outside the workplace & was the recipient of her kindness & generosity in so many ways. May she rest in peace & rise in glory.

A woman of passion, wit, sharp intellect, fearless, caring and loving. She has left a footprint on this island and beyond. Godspeed Ada

To Ada’s Family; Sorry to hear of her passing.. Met her at Pleasantview Towers while our sister was a resident there. She looked familiar and then found out who she was. Always stopped to chat with her and she was very pleasant. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. She is not suffering anymore.

So sad another nursing leader has passed. There is no doubt Ada was a trailblazer! She was a leader who made wise, visionary decisions when they were not popular and then worked to see them supported and achieved. Her goal was always focused on improving nursing, health care and especially, patient care. I admired Ada’s strength, intellect and passion. My condolences to family and friends as we remember her hardy laugh and red lipstick.

I met Miss Simms at my working establishment in Bay Roberts. She was a lovely lady and very kind. Condolences to her family.

I met Ada many years ago in Carbonear when some purpose connected to her job brought her to the school where I was teaching.. Such a pleasant lady, always smiling. Our paths crossed quite a few times and I always enjoyed our chats. So very sorry for your loss.

So sad to hear about Ada’s passing she was a very strong and forceful lady. Our family were friends since her and Jean came to Clarke’s Beach many years ago. She was very kind and reassuring to us when our daughter was in hospital at a very young age. Sending our thoughts and prayers to all family and friends.

A wonderful and powerful woman was Ada Simms and I am so sorry for your loss.

Aunt Ada was my godmother. I have so many memories of her and Jean, both at Elizabeth Towers in St. John’s and in Clarke’s Beach. I remember Mom (Mary Dawe) taking us there for visits. The house in Clarke’s Beach was the last one dad (Bram) worked on before he died. Bramwell, my brother, went over and helped out a little. We lost touch in recent years but she was always part of our life in the first part of mine. I’m sorry for her loss.

To Ada’s Family,
So very sorry to read of Ada’s passing. I worked with Ada at Carbonear General. Under her leadership and vision the nursing department saw many quality improvements. She was a mentor to many, including me! I also have fond memories of our nursing social gatherings, especially the ones at Ada’s home in North River!

Ada was my supervisor when I worked with Public Health. in Holyrood. She was quite knowledgeable and efficient. We both had dogs to chat about over lunch. May her gentle soul rest in peace.
Sincerely, Marie Furey Power.

Grateful to have worked at CGH during Ada’s tenure. She instilled quality into nursing care and provided leadership. My husband and I extend condolences at this time – she certainly embraced a full life.


Ada , my beautiful Friend , God has surely a special job for you when you are ready . You were a good and loyal friend To the people closest to you and all loved you dearly.
Ada , I feed the birds because off you , the blue Jays especially and I notice the wildlife in the pond because of you and I spent many an hour laughing at your wit . We had some good times and thank you for the beautiful memories .
Please Say Hi to Mom cause I know she heard you were on your way and was eagerly waiting to greet you . Xox forever Michelle

Relatives and friends of Ada I am very sorry to hear of Ada passing. She was a distant cousin of mine on my father’s side. I worked in Holyrood , where I got to know her betterwhen she was director of nursing ,there. I found her always professional and dedicated to profession. I lost touch with her after Ada took a position in St. John’s., but would occasionally bumped into her and have a chat. ,Rest in Peace,you deserve it.

It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Ada Simms. As an enormous advocate for the Nursing profession it was my pleasure to work with her at Carbonear General. Hospital. Through her guidance many improvements in the Nursing Department came about. Learning from her helped me grow professionally.
Sincere condolences to her friends and family

The nursing community has indeed lost a titan, as so well described in her obituary. I have many memories of working with Ada over the years and she was always so dedicated, professional, and wise. My condolences to her family and friends.

To Ada’s family,
Please accept my condolences on Ada’s passing. Ada was well respected for all her work at CGH where I knew her and learned a lot from her. She never shied away from a challenge and was always ahead of the curve when it came to change and improvement. We certainly were better off due to her efforts and advocacy for nursing care and nurses themselves.
Daphne Robinson RN

Ada was one of our closest friends for over sixty years There are so many good memories of a very special person
Noreen and John Lewis

My prayers and thoughts are with Ada’s family.
I worked with Ada for many years on the council of the ARNN and at Carbonear General Hospital. She was a major contributor to improving the delivery of Health Care in this province. and the significant role nurses play in primary care.. She was a role model for so many.

Sincere condolences on the passing of Ada. She was truly a respected pioneer in her profession in so many ways. Fred’s parents, (Ted & Hilda) always enjoyed Her and Jean when they visited her father and Dolly in Lewisporte for many years and we were always kept up to date in her adventures. Please know the family will be kept in our prayers during the days ahead, Judy and Fred Carpenter

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of Ms. Simms. I met her some 32 years ago, as a proud, new Graduate of the GHSON and she was the DON at GeCarbonear neral Hospital. She hired me right then and there! Never did we meet, that Ms. Simms didn’t call me by name and inquire as to how was my shift. Ms Simms was the epitome of what an RN was. Rest easy , God Bless.

Condolences to all who knew Miss Ada Simms.
I knew her from working at Carbonear Hospital.
She was dedicated to her family, her work and her faith. She made positive changes to Carbonear Hospital. We were very lucky to have her there.
She made us proud to be nurses. She was always fair, always professional. After she retired we shared our love for dogs and chats at the post office. May you rest in Peace Perfect Peace

Please accept my sincere condolences on Ada’s passing. I remember as a small child she and Jean would visit my grandmother, Eliza (Humphries) Clarke. And, later visiting both of them and then Ada alone in Clarke’s Beach with my parents, Edgar and Callie Clarke.. Ada and my Dad shared a deep respect for each other both as colleagues at Carbonear Hospital and as friends and distant relatives.
She influenced my nursing career before I even knew I would be a nurse! And throughout my career our paths would cross occasionally and she always left me with a nugget of knowledge or a. new perspective.
Rest easy Ada.. God Bless.

Ada was a super role model when I was a student
nurse at the General Hospital. I remember her with gratitude. R. I. P.

There is no way we can thank you for all you have done for Aunt Ada, making sure that she wasn’t there alone in her last days when we weren’t able.
God bless you and your family, too, for everything.
She is at peace in the arms of Jesus.
Blessings, Beth

I had the pleasure and honor of knowing Ada at Queen’s College where she added significantly to both community and academic life. She had a fierce intellect and an equally caring heart. I remember Ada with admiration and love. Her memory is a comfort, a challenge, and a blessing. Rest in peace, dear friend.

On behalf of the General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, I wish to extend sincere sympathy to Ada’s family. Ada was Director of the School In the mid 1960s and remained an active member of the Alumni throughout her career. Her name will be recorded in our Memorial Book honouring deceased graduates. When we resume our Alumni dinners she will be recognized during roll call. With deepest sympathy. Jeanette Walsh, on behalf of Robert Meadus, President, General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association.

Sorry to hear of Ada,s passing, I have fond memories in my student days and later as a coworker in nursing education at the Generall.
Brenda Coopet

So sorry to read about Ada’s passing! She was truly one in a million! Her support and kindness during some challenging times will never be forgotten! It meant a great deal! Her perspective on life was so clear and strong! God bless you Ada! Rest In Peace!

Sorry to hear of Ada’s passing. I have fond memories of our little chats when she would come to the post office in Clarke’s Beach . R.I.P.

I am very sorry to hear of Ada’s passing. I have fond memories of visits with her when I was a child as she and my Mom worked together. I have a beautiful angel ornament that hangs on my Christmas tree each year that was a gift from Ada. May she rest in peace.

Sorry to hear of Ada’s passing. She was a special person. Ahead of her time in many ways. I had the pleasure of knowing her for a number of years and had come to realize that she loved her church and Queen’s College and she loved life. She had lots of friends who loved her dearly. She also treasured her family who had long before passed. R.I.P.