Virginia “Ginny” Hemphill Simms
1927 - 2023
Ginny passed away peacefully on Monday, March 6 th with her daughter Wendy and son Doug at her side.
She had recently celebrated her 95 th birthday. Ginny was born in Hays Kansas and came to California in
1942. She graduated from Oakland High School in 1945. Ginny attended Stanford University and
graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1949 with a degree in Political Science, which she put to good use the rest
of her life.
She married Warren Simms and they made Napa their family home in 1955. Ginny was active in various
committees in her early years. She was participated in PTA at Alta Heights Elementary and served as
both a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. Ginny served on the Napa Valley Community College Board,
Napa County Grand Jury, the Land Trust of Napa County Board, Napa City Planning Commission and was
active in local elections. Ginny served as executive director of Aldea, a local youth support organization.
She and other like-minded volunteers started two local land preservation advocacy groups committed to
preserving the rural feel of the Napa Valley, while sheltering the wine industry from the growing
development pressures. She was key member of the committee who envisioned the Napa Agricultural
Preserve in 1968. In 1972 Ginny was elected County Supervisor in District 4 and served on the board
from 1973 through 1977. She was the first woman elected to the Board of Supervisors and to be
selected as its chairman. Ginny was appointed as Napa County’s representative on the Golden Gate
Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board, where she served for 10 years. She continued to be
active advocate for Napa on matters that concerned controlled growth and land preservation the rest of
Ginny was a devoted mother and grandmother. She is survived by her son, Doug Simms (Linda) and
daughter Wendy Simms Rudolph (Bill). Her grandchildren and great grandchildren are Clare Rudolph
Franz (Carl) their children, Lukas, Bennett, Theo and Nora. Allison Rudolph Zilinek (Casey) their children
Ruby and Marlow. Gregg Simms (Courtney) their children Sawyer, Dillon Simms (Megan) their children
Summer, Parker, Harper and Sayler.
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Napa on June 17 th at 1:30,
reception to follow. In lieu of flowers those so inclined can donate in Ginny’s name to the Land Trust of
Napa Valley. https://napalandtrust.org/help-us-protect-walt-ranch/
Please share your condolences and memories on Ginny’s Tribute Wall at
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