NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday September 21st 2017

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Servant of the People, Gentle Giant, Drum Major, Foot Soldier, Peaceful Warrior, The Epitome of Service

By Trudy White, best friend and neighbor

The epitome of service.

A gentle giant, a peaceful warrior.

After moving into her beautiful old Victorian home on Portland Avenue, Muriel decided to focus her attention on the culture of the neighborhood.  Not pleased with what she found she decided to focus her attention into the Community.

The streets and housing of West Phillips had deteriorated and become sick and wounded due to irresponsible building tenants, selfish landlords along with drug trafficking that caused crime to breed in the neighborhoods like the plaque.  Unlike most of the area residents that were intimidated and fearful most of the time, Muriel Simmons decided to use her concerns and people skills to release the burden of fear in the Community and take back the streets of Phillips West!

The task of making the Phillips Community better was an uphill battle but Muriel Simmons forged ahead with door knocking, phone calls, passing out flyers, thinking, praying, recruiting volunteers, tracking to meeting after meeting and talking to anyone who would listen along the way.  Muriel had the faith that would transform the Phillips Neighborhood back into a vital place to live, work, play and raise children.

As a result of Muriel’s continuous service of connecting people to people, organizing and confronting problems head on, building on relationships the Phillips Neighborhood slowly began to transition back to the vital Community it is today!  Ms. Muriel was a real foot soldier, Drum major and servant of the people!

This tribute to Muriel was read at Muriel’s Funeral by Crystal Windschitl, Executive Director of Phillips West Neighborhood Organization who also spoke highly of Muriel as a leader, mentor, and constant inspiration to her as staff to this neighborhood group of which Muriel was a co-founder.

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