Nancy Jean Sylvies-Simmons
June 21, 1940 to June 6, 2023

Nancy Sylvies-Simmons of Orleans passed away on June 6, 2023. She was born on June 21, 1940 in LA to her Father Eugene Sylvies and her grandparents who raised her Kenneth and Cecil Sylvies. She grew up with her two siblings Kenneth and Carolyn. The Sylvies family later relocated to the Salmon River where Nancy spent the majority of her adolescent years.

Nancy went on to start her own family after she married Jim Horn of Orleans. They made their home on Ferris Ranch Rd. where Nancy remained until she passed. In her home she gave life to her three children; James B. Horn, Paul Horn and Penni Horn. It was there that she raised her children and became our Nana. She devoted her life to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

One of Nancy’s first jobs was working at the fire camps as a cook. She also spent many years working at the Orleans Motel and the Orleans Mining Company where she cooked and waitressed at the same time. Later in life she worked at the Orleans Store where she was well known for her deli work and keeping the shelves stocked with yarn. She also babysat many O-town kids throughout the years and two of her favorite kids were Craig Mullins and Kit McCovey, whom she maintained a friendship with over the years. Up until Nancy passed away she worked for the Karuk Tribe Senior Nutrition Program as the substitute cook and maintained her custodial business at the Forest Service where she worked alongside her longtime friend Charla King.

She was well known for her beautiful yard and flowers and she loved to garden. She took pride in maintaining her yard all on her own. There wasn’t anything that she couldn’t do, from running the green machine to planting her flowers. Nancy was very creative and she loved to crochet, sew and quilt. She made beautiful blankets, quilts, baby blankets, bags and so much more. She passed her creative talents down to her granddaughters Teresa and Jesika. You would often find Nancy and her handmade art at the local craft fairs alongside her granddaughters.

Nancy had many passions and talents, but being a Mom and Nana was definitely her super power. She took great pride in teaching her daughter Penni about motherhood, cooking, baking and how to keep a home. Nancy passed down her many great qualities including her strength and her fiercely independent personality that always included a dash of SASS. She was caring, loving and nurturing but could also cuss like a sailor especially when she was with her great grandson Dukes. Nancy always made every holiday extremely special. She loved to cook and bake, but the real happiness came from watching the ones she loved enjoy the food she made from scratch. She could bake a pie in every flavor and made everyone their favorite treats. Her persimmon cookies melted in your mouth and everyone loved them. Words are hard to describe what she meant to everyone. She was more than a Mom and Nana, she was also a best friend. She cherished her long phone calls with her oldest son James and looked forward to their conversation. Nancy also looked forward to when her boys would come home to visit her and they also always made time to do the things that were on her to do list.

In January of 2000, Nancy not only had one more grandson, Ben, she also became a great grandma for the first time (Laurence). She always wanted to make sure that she could help in any way. It didn’t matter if it was little or big she always showed up. In 2007, after more great grandsons, Nancy finally got her first great granddaughter, Kalia. Starting In 2009, Nancy took great pride in helping raise Kalia. They say it takes a village to raise a child and Nancy went above and beyond to make sure Kalia never went without motherly love. As often as she could, she came to the local school functions, sporting events and did her fair share of school fundraising for the kids. It was one of the many things that gave her purpose and joy.

Nancy had decided on her 70th birthday that she would be her authentic sassy self and at her age, her opinion was going to be heard whether you liked it or not. She gave her love generously to everyone, but could also put you in your place. Anyone who knew Nancy knew that she had favorites, of course she thought she super secretive about it, but if you were one of her favorites, you definitely knew.

She shared a special bond and relationship with her great grandsons Laurence Mitchell, James “Dukes” Mitchell, Kalia Mitchell and Edward and Apryl Mitchell. They are very fortunate to have spent so much time with their Nana. Nancy also took great pride in helping plan family events and most recently helped plan a baby shower for her newest great-grandson Mettah Mitchell.

Nancy shared a deep connection and friendship with Charla, Travis and Serena King. The family would like to thank them for being there for her, not only as a friend, but also in her time of need. Nancy loved Charla and the kids like they were her own and had no problem letting everyone know just how much they meant to her. She would also want us to mention her favorite nieces that meant the world to her; Crystal Lollich, Patty Underwood and her great-niece Ashley Horn-Liebes.

Walking was also one of Nancy’s favorite things to do. Up until last year, for many years Nancy walked the muddy mile in Orleans and did the 2 mile trek with her walking partner Joanne Rosenbach. She also loved to attend the monthly sewing group in Orleans.

Nancy was survived by her three children James Horn (Nacidee), Paul Horn (Linda), Penni Horn (Mackie). Her grandchildren Louis Mitchell, Teresa Mitchell (Jim), Jesika Sheaf (Kris), Edward Mitchell (Rachael), Ben Nix, Kenneth Horn (Jesse), Jacob Horn (Karissa), Katie Horn, Michael Horn (Selene), and Ben Horn (Amanda). Great Grandchildren Laurence and Dukes Mitchell, Eychkwo and Teyk-tah Moon, Mikah, Karoline and Rebeka Sheaf, Apryl, Edward Jr., Janie and Mettah Mitchell, Hailey and Jasiman Horn, Ella, Weston and Harlo Horn, Drake and Brody Horn, Damion, Madilyn, James and Nicholas Horn, Adan, Andrew and Aero Horn, Kalia, Emilia and Louis Mitchell. Her nieces Cecil, Maggie, Sherry, Shelley, Stacy and nephew Melvin.

She was preceded in death by her father Eugene Sylvies, her grandparents that raised her Kenneth and Cecil Sylvies, siblings Kenneth Sylvies, Caroline Sylvies, her youngest brother Eugene “Bub” Sylvies and her sister in law Marion Lollich.

Honorary persons are Edward Mitchell Sr., Edward Mitchell Jr., Laurence Mitchell, James Dukes Mitchell, James Moon Sr., Ben Nix, Joe Nix, Mackie Nix, Teyk-tah Moon, Eychkwo Moon, Mikah Sheaf, Kenneth Horn, Jacob Horn, Michael Horn, Ben Horn, Travis King and Louis Mitchell.

The family would like to thank Charla King, Rod Johnson, the K’ima:w ambulance crew, the emergency flight crew and all of the Mercy Hospital staff in Redding for all of their help in Nancy’s final days.

Services will be held on July 9, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the Karuk DNR Building in Orleans. Please bring your favorite dish and story to share with everyone.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Nancy Sylvies-Simmons’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email