WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Standing Together as a Community Against Domestic Violence

Apr 29, 2014

A Hancock County woman beaten to death by her husband will be remembered and honored this weekend.

The first Kathy Simmons Memorial 5K Walk/Run will be held by Victim Services of the Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency.  Registration begins at 7:30 am Saturday, May 3, and the walk/run begins at 8:00 am.  The Citizen’s Bank Plaza in downtown Macomb will serve as the starting and finishing spot for the event.

Credit Rich Egger

“We’re very, very thankful and very happy that this has come to fruition,” said Kent Simmons, one of Kathy Simmons’ three children.

“Macomb has been a fantastic supporter of our family. We have many great friends that still live there.”

Kathy Simmons worked as a nurse at McDonough District Hospital.  She died in March, 2003 after her husband, Kevin Simmons, savagely beat her with a wooden rod and kicked her.  Her body was found outside their home in Burnside. She was pronounced dead a few hours later at a hospital in Peoria.

Kevin Simmons was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison. 

Kent Simmons said he and his siblings grew up living in fear of his father’s violent outbursts, and he said his mother succumbed to “severe torture” from her husband.  He credited the doctors and nurses at MDH with helping ensure his father was convicted in the case.

Kathy Simmons
Credit Photo courtesy of the Simmons family

Kent Simmons hoped the walk/run will help raise awareness about domestic violence.

“It happens in every town, every community,” said Simmons. “A lot of people just won’t acknowledge it and talk about it.

“We want people to know that if you’re the friend or a family member of someone who’s living this life, you have to help step in and give them the confidence and give them the ability to know that they are supported and they can move forward from it with support.”

The registration fee for the walk/run is $25 and donations will also be accepted.  The WIRC-CAA said proceeds will benefit domestic violence victims and their families.