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Jim Simmons, born June 30, 1949, died peacefully in his home on November 15, 2019, with his wife at his side. Jim was a joyous person who loved life and lived it to the fullest! An only child, he was reared by his mother Edith whom he loved and admired. After graduating from Deepwater High School in 1967, he attended the University of Central Missouri where he received a Masters in History. He then began a 36 year career with the Missouri Division of Family Services starting as a caseworker in Jackson County. His career would advance him to positions as a supervisor in Jackson County as well as to Pettis County Director, Assistant Area Director, and Regional Liasion for both the NE and NW Regions of the state.
While at DFS, Jim met his future wife Mary Ann Bishop (Lexington, MO) and they enjoyed 32 years of married life. Their love for each other was unquestioned and unconditional. Together, they would travel to more than 30 countries on 5 continents as well as across the contiguous United States and Hawaii having just returned from their most recent vacation 2 weeks prior to his passing.
Jim was an avid reader and was never without a book. With his vast knowledge, he was excellent at trivia games. Jim also enjoyed photography, building small scale military models, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, and working in the yard. People commented that his yard looked like a park and neighbor children called him “Mr Gardner Guy.”
Jim made friends wherever he went and he loved helping people. As an eagle scout, Jim embodied the Boy Scout Oath. He never passed a person in distress without offering to help. He served as a lector for Sacred Heart Parish for 16 years, and he volunteered at the Food Center, the Christmas Store, the home based meal delivery program and the Boy Scouts (accompanying them on their winter camp outs). Jim would loan anyone anything including his books, power tools and even his canoe. He never left friend or family without saying, “If you need anything, just let me know.” Even in death, he is continuing to help others by donating his body to medical science.
Jim was proceeded in death by his mother Edith Simmons and by his father-in-law Bob Bishop.
Jim will be greatly missed by his wife, his mother-in-law Salema Bishop of Warrensburg, MO, his sister-in-law Susan Tharp and husband John of Columbia, MO, his brothers-in- law Steven Bishop of Springfield and Bob Bishop and wife Carolyn of Eagle Rock, MO, as well as his 7 nieces and nephews, his 15 great nieces and nephews and numerous extended family and friends.
Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Sacred Heart Parish, 300 S. Ridgeview Dr, Warrensburg, MO with a sharing of memories beginning at 11 a.m. immediately followed by a Mass of Resurrection.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the James Grady Simmons Memorial Scholarship fund at Lakeland School in Deepwater, MO or to Sacred Heart Parish in Warrensburg, MO.