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Nacogdoches man has new outlook on life after 65th wedding anniversary

Marilyn (left) and Coy Simms
Marilyn (left) and Coy Simms(KTRE)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Medicine can help aches and pains, but sometimes it takes unexpected kindness to make a person feel better.

Longtime Nacogdoches resident Coy Simms, 84, found that out recently on his 65th wedding anniversary. What happened lifted his spirits.

Simms is the man who went to bat for women’s softball. He even has a Nacogdoches Softball Complex named for him.

One plaque after another line his living room. He’s appreciated. But things took a turn when he got some alarming news.

“I got cancer of the liver and prostrate. Also lungs,” he shared candidly.

Stage 4.

Simms spent three weeks at Houston Methodist Hospital. His wife, Marilyn was with him the entire time.

“Marilyn stayed by my side constantly. I couldn’t run her off,” Coy Simms chuckled.

She was there to help.

“And he wanted to do everything for himself, but I wanted to help him. So, we had a little fuss,” Marilyn Simms said.

Not the first. Maybe not the last. But that comes with 65 years of marriage.

“You gonna love that person,” said Marilyn Simms.

The anniversary date happened during the hospital stay. To mark the occasion, daughter Melanie Miller asked for a cake. The couple got it, but the hospital staff also provided a surprise.

”They told me, ‘we got a private dining room we’re gonna set up, And a gourmet chef come in,’” said Miller.

The couple was escorted to the hospital’s top floor, overlooking the Houston skyline.

The spread stretched from one end to another.

“Steak and shrimp cocktail,” Marilyn Simms said.

The best part of the surprise was it made Coy Simms feel better.

“I was a different man. I had a new outlook on life. I knew I was ready to die. But it helped me. I’m here today and I hope to be here tomorrow,” said Coy Simms.

Coy Simms’ outlook on life changed and was noticed by his loving family.

“So, it was medicine to him,” Miller said.

Years ago, Coy Simms was presented the keys to the city of Nacogdoches, but it can’t match the key Marilyn Simms has to her husband’s heart--expressed in this intimate memory the man of faith shares of their wedding night.

“We knelt down and prayed that God keep us together,” said Coy Simms, his voice cracking with emotion. “And he has. I love her,” he said while reaching for her hand.

A bond reinforced by kindness. That makes everyone feel better.

The Simms family wanted to share their parent’s story to remind caregivers and others an act of kindness can go a long way to lift spirits. Coy Simms will be soon be starting radiation treatments.

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