Tag Archives: Douglas W. Simmons III

Holly Mattson’s Dad Gives the Shirt(s) Off His Back for Her

“Big John” Mattson loves his Harley. The Tacoma resident has traveled pretty much every state west of the Mississippi on the bike.
“It’s a sickness, I suppose,” he said.

Along the way he has collected T-shirts from Harley-Davidson dealerships. Much as he values these souvenirs, he’s giving them away in the form of a quilt to be raffled off, to help his daughter, Holly Mattson of Port Orchard, who was critically injured in a car accident July 26 in Pierce County.

The accident claimed the life of her friend, Douglas W. Simmons III of Fife, who was also originally from South Kitsap.

Virginia Ramsey, the 26-year-old woman whose car hit the couple’s car at an intersection in Milton faces charges of second-degree murder, vehicular assault, attempting to elude a police officer and five other counts.

Holly, now staying with her mother, Patricia Mattson in Port Orchard, is recovering slowly. She is “doing better than she has any right to be doing. She’s doing fine,” her dad said.

“Fine” is a relative term for Holly, who against seemingly insurmountable odds, survived a torn aorta (a major blood vessel in her heart) and fractured vertebrae in her neck among other serious injuries. She wears an eye patch and a neck brace. Just getting ready for the day is difficult.

Despite that, “She has a great attitude; she’s very positive,” John Mattson said. “She doesn’t have any hatred or hard feelings about Virginia Ramsey, who hit her. She just says ‘there’s not room in my life for that.’ It would be an emotional cancer for her, so she just doesn’t go there.”

Holly Mattson, who saw Virginia Ramsey at the arraignment, had this to say, “When I saw her at the courthouse, I really just kind of felt sorry for her. She looks like she’s had a hard road and hasn’t had much love in her life. She’s made one bad choice after another that led to this.”

Holly became emotional talking about the ramifications of the accident, especially the fact that Simmons won’t be able to see his two young daughters grow.

Unable to work at this time, Holly faces steep medical bills. She formerly sold a line of licensed Harley-Davidson jewelry. She had been on her way to the airport for a convention when the accident happened. The Las Vegas event would have provided a sizable portion of her annual income.

Among the several fundraisers already held and scheduled for her benefit, John Mattson has donated his Harley T-shirts, which have been made into a quilt by Mona Herring. Herring lives south of Olympia and is a member of Mattson’s HOG (Harley Owners Group).

The quilt is making the rounds of Harley-Davidson stores. It’s not scheduled to make it to the HD store in Silverdale, but anyone who wants to buy raffle tickets can contact John Mattson at imgreystone@yahoo.com for instructions on how to access a PayPal account. The cost is $5 per ticket or 5 for $20. The drawing will be in late November. You need not be present to win.

Other Fundraisers for Holly Mattson
Nov. 19: Voltera restaurant in Ballard will hold an auction featuring a Dale Chihuly painting, a cruise and many other desirable items. The evening will include signature drinks with heavy hors d’oeuvres and dancing; 8 p.m. to midnight, 5411 Ballard Avenue Northwest Seattle, 98107; (206) 789-5100; $60 per person (40 tickets left).

Nov. 20: There will be a benefit concert with the Seattle-based band Absolute Monarchs headlining at Winterland, 1220 Sylvan Way, Bremerton, 98310; $5 cover proceeds will go to Holly; (360) 479-5686.

Holly, who lived in Seattle before the accident, has been blown away by the fundraisers organized by her friends and family.
“It’s all stemmed from people that are South Kitsap people. It’s very amazing what that little town has done,” she said. “I’m very overwhelmed by all the love. It’s very humbling. I don’t know how people go through something like this without it.”

South Kitsap Native Holly Mattson Alive and “Thankful”

Friends of South Kitsap native Holly Mattson will hold a benefit concert for her on Sept. 30 at Neumos
nightclub in Seattle
to help her with steep medical bills incurred from a horrific July 26 car crash that claimed the life of her friend Douglas W. Simmons III of Fife, also originally from South Kitsap.

Changes are pending against the Auburn woman who hit the car Simmons was driving broadside. The woman allegedly was traveling at speeds up to 80 miles per hour while fleeing a Federal Way police officer when the collision occurred.

Mattson, who was a passenger in Simmons car, has rough days since the accident but remains the upbeat person friends from Marcus Whitman Junior High School and South Kitsap High School remember. She is taking “baby steps but in the right direction,” she said on a recent Facebook post.

Mattson only learned that Simmons had died after she got out of the intensive care unit.

“My ex-husband and my three boys all came in and surrounded my bed,” Mattson said, in an e-mail to the Kitsap Sun. “They said I had to know and proceeded to tell me. I stopped them after hearing about Doug’s death. My heart was instantly broke.

“He was such a good guy and the waves of tears hit me without warning over him,” Mattson said. “He was a wonderful dad and family was the most important thing in the world to him. He was a true man in his walk in this life.”

Mattson, formerly of Oregon and the Seattle area, for now is living with family in Port Orchard. She is somewhat overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that has buoyed her since she first remembers regaining consciousness in the hospital.

“I am so humble over the outreach from everyone on this whole tragic event. I really cannot even form words other then being ‘Thankful,’” she said. “You ask how I am right now. I am better then yesterday. I say that I feel like my heart, my mind and my body are broken, but honestly, my spirit has been strong throughout and I owe that to all the love and support of friends and family.”

Find the story on Mattson’s heroic recovery in today’s Kitsap Sun.

Friends, spearheaded by Dave Dayton, also formerly of South Kitsap, now of Seattle, have organized this concert at Neumos, entitled “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.” The concert will feature 10 bands covering The Smiths, a 1980s rock band (details below).

I didn’t realize how eerily poignant the name of the event was until I looked for The Smiths on You Tube and found this video.

“There is a Light That Never Goes Out”
What: A benefit concert for South Kitsap native Holly Mattson.
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 30
Where: Neumos, 925 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122-3816; (206) 709-9442
More Information: Find organizer Dave Dayton on Facebook, e-mail
openheart_70@yahoo.com or visit www.neumos.com.
Bands: Leeni, Like Lightning and Guests, Bradford in Taxco, Leslie Beattie,
Trentalange, Mikey Davis (Calligraphers), Joshua Morrison, The Small Change,
Aaron Mannino and The Missionary Position.