James Simmons (9-23-18) service 9-26-18


James Elton Simmons, of Savannah, departed this life on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the age of 83 years, 4 months and 14 days.

He was born in Wayne County on May 9, 1935, to the late John Wesley and Pearl Mae Howell Simmons. On April 13, 1963, he was united in marriage to Betty Irene Deshazier, who preceded him in death on Oct. 25, 2017.

James had worked for Crown Cork & Seal in Chicago, Illinois as a forklift driver. He later moved to Savannah in 1990. James was an animal lover and enjoyed playing music – he could play many instruments. He loved fishing and squirrel hunting. He enjoyed trading items at the flea markets and pawn shops. James loved spending time with his family the most.

He leaves behind daughters, Marilyn Kay Alexander and her husband Keith, Deborah Gannon and her husband Doug, all of Savannah, Doris Ann Cimon and her husband Ken of Tupelo, Mississippi, Brenda Sue Barnett and her husband Calvin of Pontotoc, Mississippi, and Donna Simmons of Texas; sons, John Walten Simmons and his wife Jennica, and Jeffrey Boyd Clay, all of Savannah; 17 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nieces, Barbara Moore and her husband Richard, Jennifer Frazier and her husband Glenn, and Shirley Lamb and her husband Gill; and nephews, Billy Turnbo and his wife Debbie, and Jimmy Whitehead and his wife Flora.

In addition to his parents and wife, James was preceded in death by one son, James Elton Simmons Jr.; one sister, Mary Nell Turnbo; and two half sisters.

Services were held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m., at Shackelford Chapel in Savannah with Eric Smith officiating. Burial followed in  Neill Cemetery at Savannah.