Catharine Howard Simmons, 93, of Newtown Square, a retired teacher who left the classroom to become a library services supervisor for the Chichester School District, died of breast cancer Dec. 14 at the White Horse Village retirement community in Edgmont.

Mrs. Simmons taught elementary school in the Chester and Rose Tree Media School Districts but redirected her career after studying library science at Drexel University.

She already had earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. When she joined the Chichester district, she was assigned to supervise five libraries. She retired in the late 1970s.

Mrs. Simmons, who was born in Chester, was a descendant of John Alden, a barrelmaker who came over on the Mayflower. She also was a descendant of Cromwell Pearce, a commander in the War of 1812.

Mrs. Simmons worked arduously to preserve her family history, conducting research and gathering family documents. She was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, past president of the Penn's Grant chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century, and a member of the Delaware County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Mrs. Simmons' late husband, artist Y.S. Walter Simmons, who owned the Avondale Gallery near Swarthmore, was a descendant of Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Surviving are sisters Elizabeth Howard Rowell and Virginia Howard Lowery, brother Edward Johnson Howard, and several nieces and nephews.

Services and burial are private. Mrs. Simmons will be buried at St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley, where Pearce is buried.

Contact staff writer Kristin E. Holmes at 610-313-8211 or kholmes@phillynews.com.