James M. Simmons

July 22, 1933 ~ May 1, 2021 (age 87)


On Saturday, May 1, 2021, James M. Simmons loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather passed away peacefully at home with his daughter Peggy at the age of 87 after a battle with dementia.

James was born in Pomfret, MD to the late Joseph and Myrtle Simmons.  He attended LaPlata High School.  After high school he joined the Army in 1951 and proudly served during the Korean War serving in Alaska where he always dreamed of going back to saying how beautiful it is.  He went to work at the Navel Ordinance Station Indian Head, MD in 1951.  He started at NOS as a laborer in the Public Works Department.  He moved into the production area and steadily progressed through positions with increased responsibilities.  He finally completed his career as a Chemical Plant Operator in the Manufacturing Technology Department making Nitroglycerin for the Government.  He retired from the Government in 1988 but didn't quit working as that was not in his vocabulary.  He always had some sort of part time job even while working full time.  He worked at Bledsoe's Gulf Station in Bryans Road for many years, which later became Martins.  He continued to work for Martins at their LaPlata Station until July 2018.

He met the love of his life Doris Pearson Simmons in 1951 and they married in 1955.  They shared a love many never know and only dream of.  He never stopped loving her and wanting to be with her even as dementia took over.  Together they had 6 children who they loved unconditionally and more than life it’s self.  He was proud of each every one of his children.  He always made them all feel loved.  They welcomed and raised many others into their home who were blessed to be a part of their family.

He had a passion for old cars, motorcycles, eagles and airplanes.  He loved going to car shows and always wanted to buy one that some had for sale at each one.  He loved showing his eagles and his collector car collection to everyone that came to the house.  He happily and dangerously rode his motorcycle until the age of 80 when it became too dangerous for him and others.

James was diagnosed with dementia and high pressure hydrocephalus in 2019.  Once he lost Doris, the love of his life, his health began to deteriorate.  He moved in with his daughter Peggy who cared for him until his death when he could join his soulmate/love of his life again.

Tracie Douglas (Pork Chop) his granddaughter who loved him beyond words and he felt the same for her helped care for him with so much love and compassion for whatever he needed.  There was no limit to her commitment to him.  His grandson Mathew Simmons who he adored and held a special place in his heart which the feeling was mutual helped whenever it was needed.  There was nothing too big or small for his grandad that he wouldn't do .

James is proceeded in death by his wife the love of his life Doris M. Simmons.  Many brothers and sisters.

James is survived by their 6 children:  James ( Russell ) of Fontana, California, Vicky Truesdell (Walt ) of Manning, South Carolina, David (Michael) of LaPlata, MD, Dennis of Mechanicsville, MD, Peggy Gross (Dereck) of BelAlton, MD, Wanda Bowie of Faulkner, MD, 20 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his siblings, Lucille Lakup of Colonial Beach, VA and Shirley Hamilton of LaPlata, MD.

James is also survived by two very special people who he looked at as his own; Susan Smythers of LaPlata, MD, Danny Hainey of Fayetteville, NC along with many nieces, nephews and close friends.

The family will receive friends Saturday, May 15, 2021 at the funeral home from 12 noon until 3 PM.

The burial will be at a later date and private due to restrictions at which time he will be laid to rest at Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham, MD.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James M. Simmons, please visit our floral store.


May 15, 2021

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Williams Funeral Home, P.A.
4270 Hawthorne Rd
Indian Head, MD 20640

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