Fleur Allene Fuller Simmons, age 81, died peacefully in Monroe, LA. on May 23, 2020.
She was born in Amarillo, TX, lived in Auburn, AL until the age of 12, and then in Lubbock, TX where she spent the remainder of her childhood. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas Tech University and then a Master of Arts degree in English from Oklahoma State University. She taught for two years at North Texas State College where she met her first husband, Joseph Larry Simmons, a fellow English teacher. Fleur and Larry moved to New Orleans, LA in 1967, where both began their teaching careers: Fleur as a teacher in the New Orleans Public Schools and Larry as a member of the Tulane English Department. In New Orleans they also raised their three daughters.
A dedicated educator, Fleur taught for almost 30 years at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, teaching creative writing and gifted English. Beloved by her students, she fostered a deep appreciation of American Literature, guiding her classes through explorations of Whitman, Faulkner, Twain, and other luminaries. Thanks to Fleur’s engaging approach, many of her students adopted her favorite works, such as All the King’s Men or The Great Gatsby, as their own favorites. With a pet peeve for comma splices (and whistling in class), she was a stickler for grammar and worked diligently to improve her students’ competency with composition. She left an indelible impact on her students, many of whom went on to careers dependent on writing, such as authoring novels, publishing research, leading marketing firms, crafting policy, and issuing judicial opinions. After retiring, she enjoyed staying in touch with former students who frequently reached out to her with reverence, love, and thanks. To her dismay, her own children still have difficulty differentiating between both “lay” and “lie” and “bring” and ”take.”
After Hurricane Katrina, she married her ballroom dance partner of 15 years, Pratap Puri, and they settled in Monroe, LA where they lived their remaining 15 years together.
She is survived by her husband, Pratap Puri, her brother, Dwain (Patricia) Fuller of Dallas, TX, her daughters, Elizabeth Fuller Simmons and Catherine Edna Simmons (Jerry Arnold) of Monroe, LA, and Jean Randle Simmons (Edward Stenger) of Shaker Heights, OH, her step-children, Amrita Puri (Jeffrey Padberg) of Conway, AR, and Salil Puri of Austin, TX, her grandchildren, Zachary and Ava Stenger, and William Arnold, and her dear nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her father William Gordon Fuller, and mother Carrie Faye Christopher Fuller, of Lubbock, TX, and her former husband Joseph Larry Simmons of Monroe, LA.
A private burial will take place in Tylertown, MS. Memorial donations may be made to the Family and Friends of G. B. Cooley, Attn: Eva C. Vessel, 210 DuPont Drive, West Monroe, LA 71291.
Griffin Funeral Home
West Monroe, LA