John Simonds, a current commissioner of Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) and the owner of Island Handy, a licensed general contracting business, died unexpectedly on Monday, March 13. He was 69 years old, according to online records.
The cause of Simonds’ death is not known at this time.
Simonds had been an island resident since 2009 and was elected to serve as a fire commissioner in 2021.
Pam King, chair of VIFR’s board of commissioners, released a statement on March 14, announcing Simonds’ death with great sorrow.
“John was a passionate and dedicated fire commissioner with a mission to improve the safety of Vashon residents and the safety and health of our Vashon Fire and Rescue members and staff,” King wrote. “John was instrumental in advancing the administration and operations of the fire district, and successfully advocated to increase our staffing levels to keep our community and firefighters safe. On behalf of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Chief Matt Vinci, and the dedicated staff and members of Vashon Island Fire and Rescue, we will do everything possible to support Commissioner Simonds’ family during this difficult time. We ask the Vashon community to keep the Simonds family in your thoughts and prayers. We will honor Commissioner Simonds’ legacy.”
King also wrote that the details of Simonds’ services would be shared when they were known. A full obituary will follow.