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Family pays tribute to popular taxi driver

A much-loved West End cabby was yesterday recalled by family and friends at a gathering near his Somerset home.

Many people only knew Anson Simmons, 83, by his nickname, “Aching Heart”.

He was a taxi driver “right up until his last day”, recalled daughter Rhonda Furbert.

A cabby for “60-plus years”, the driver of taxi 1230 was an accomplished tour guide who became known as a “taxi ambassador”, she said.

“He was definitely a people person, and he travelled extensively,” Mrs Furbert added.

A prominent member of the Somerset Cricket Club, Mr Simmons received the nickname from his father, Ronald, who during an argument at the club quipped that the others were getting on his “aching heart”.

“After that, it stuck,” his daughter recalled.

"Aching Heart" and Leola, his late wife of 55 years, had daughters Charlotte and Rhonda, plus sons Randolph and Eugene.

Mr Simmons was a mechanic and had also worked as a butler, but it was his taxi job, especially at The Reefs hotel, that got him best known.

“He had an impact on everyone's lives, however they knew him,” Mrs Furbert said.

Her husband Michael recalled Mr Simmons as “an avid card player — especially euchre and spades”.

“Wherever he was in a taxi waiting on a job, he'd be playing cards. He always found somebody to play cards with.”

He organised games at Somerset Cricket Club, and was a member of Hamilton's Leopards Club — plus a diehard Somerset Trojans fan.

Mr Simmons was also devoted to walking the Railway Trail in Sandys, where his body was found on Friday morning.

Sitting in the home on Bluebell Lane, which her father had called 'It's a Struggle' after the work that went into building it, Mrs Furbert called the loss “devastating”.

“But everyone wants to be here for it,” she added.

Somerset cabby Anson Simmons, 83, with great-grandson Zhen Wilson. Mr Simmons died while on his daily walk on The Railway Trail, in Sandys.

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Published April 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 14, 2013 at 11:39 pm)

Family pays tribute to popular taxi driver

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