Official Obituary of

Atieno Adoyo Pilipa Steen Simmons

August 23, 2023
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Atieno Steen Simmons Obituary

Atieno Adoyo Pilipa Steen Simmons MS. ATIENO ADOYO PILIPA STEEN SIMMONS entered into rest on August 23, 2023. She passed surrounded by close family at her home in Cambridge, MA following a battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Living in cities like San Francisco and London, her passion for travel led her to explore China and Europe. Ati volunteered extensively, contributing to events like the annual Regatta, the Boston Marathon, and the MLK Day of Service.

Ati devoted the bulk of her working life to helping with her family’s insurance business. However, it was her philanthropic endeavors that marked her distinct legacy. After her diagnosis, she co-founded ‘Just A Swab’ to raise awareness about blood diseases in the African American community. In addition to registering countless new bone marrow donors, Ati helped raise over $30,000 for cancer research.

As a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, her relentless advocacy led to Pride crosswalks and benches being installed in front of Cambridge City Hall, marking the city’s inclusivity.

She is survived by her mothers E. Denise Simmons and Mattie B Hayes; by her siblings: Jada D Simmons Ononeme (Toju), Nadene D. Simmons, Zakiya Joyner Kennedy (Kenneth), Santiago Cook, Draylin Beaudrault (Annette), and Semhar Habtehans. She also leaves behind her aunts, Fredrika Steen and True Miller Bacon, and nieces and nephews Azianna Denise Simmons, Tara Jones Knight, Samadhi D. Simmons Mugera, Saliyah L. Simmons Depina, Zadian Melton, Keon Kennedy, Kaden Kennedy, Michael Ononeme, Samosa Brioso, and a community of relatives and close friends including Robert “Al” Bacon (Wanda Denise), Joyce Carroll, Gloria Kinkead, Matthew Martin, Mark Biron, Alex Percy, Annette Mugera, Otto Hayes (Doris), and Anthony Francis.

Key figures that graced her life include her other moms Nina da Maia, Valerie Beaudrault, and Estelle Disch; Bud Hines, Vanessa White, Vanessa Ward, Rhonda Graves, Dawn Crawford, Sally Haslanger (Steve), Dita Obler (Kevin), Cynthia Harris, Priscilla Lee, Mary Leno, Joe Dempsey, Andrew Grande, and Sarah Syrochen.

Special acknowledgment goes to Kira, her treasured kiddy kat.

In her memory, donations may be directed to Just A Swab, c/o Mark Orent, Leader Bank, 675 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139. Visitation and services will be held September 2, 2023 at 9 am at First Church, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge. Atieno Simmons’ legacy is one of dedication, compassion, and an indomitable spirit.

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Visitation with the Family
September 2, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
First Church Congregational
11 Garden St
Cambridge, Ma 02138

Funeral Service
September 2, 2023

10:00 AM
First Church Congregational
11 Garden St
Cambridge, Ma 02138


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