Roy and Elizabeth "Tibby" Simmons were married on Oct. 28, 1938. They met in drama class at the University of Utah, where they performed together in a one-act play. It was the beginning of a remarkable partnership.
Shortly after they were married, Roy was hired by his father-in-law, L.E. Ellison, to work as an assistant cashier at the First National Bank of Layton. Tibby was one of his supervisors. They worked together until 1942, when Tibby gave birth to their first child.
From modest beginnings, Roy's banking career skyrocketed. He organized the Bank of Utah in 1952, and a year later was named president of the Lockhart Company, a consumer finance company. In 1955, Roy and his business partners organized Keystone Insurance and Investment Co., which acquired a controlling interest in Zions First National Bank. Keystone later changed its name to Zions Bancorporation. Roy was named Zions' president and chief executive officer in 1964. He served as chair and chief executive officer until 1990, and continued as chair until 2002.
Roy's interests and involvement weren't limited to banking. He also organized Simmons Media Group in 1977, served on numerous boards of directors, and was a founding member of the University of Utah's board of trustees. He was a devoted father and husband.
Roy and Tibby raised six children. In 1986, they established a private foundation, the Simmons Family Foundation, which supports religious, medical, community, art and educational purposes. Since it was created, the foundation has donated more than $3.5 million to worthy causes.
Roy and Tibby were married for more than 67 years when Roy died in 2006 at the age of 90. Thanks to the generous gift from the Simmons family, the Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Trauma and Emergency Services Center at Intermountain Medical Center is among the largest and best-equipped trauma centers in the region.
"When you need a trauma center, you need it as badly as you will ever need anything. Intermountain has built one of the best trauma centers and emergency services in the country, and our family is pleased we were able to help make that happen," says David E. Simmons, president and chief executive officer of Simmons Media Group and a son of Roy and Tibby.