Johnny Ray Simmons Sr.April 14, 1947 ~ May 9, 2019 (age 72)
A life well lived of 72 years, on May 9, 2019 – Johnny Ray Simmons Sr. of Blue Mountain, MS departed this life at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany, MS.
Visitation will be held on Friday May 17, 2019 at Serenity-Simmons Funeral Home from 4:00-6:00 PM.
Services with Military Honor celebrating the life of Mr. Simmons will be held on May 18, 2019, 11 A.M, St. Paul United Methodist Church – Ripley, MS with Rev. Emma Ward officiating. The repass will follow immediately after the service at Terry Street Church of Christ – Ripley, MS.
Interment will be on Tuesday May 21, 2019 at 12PM – Corinth National Cemetery – Corinth, MS.
Mr. Simmons was born April 14, 1947 in Tippah County. The eighth child of the late Quinton R. Simmons and Hattie Anniebelle Knox-Simmons.
After attending Ripley High School in Tippah County he enlisted in the United States Army serving his Country in the Vietnam War from 1965 – 1967; receiving the National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device 1960; 2 O/S Bars; Parachutist Badge, Expert (Rifle M-14) and Sharpshooter (MGM-60).
After an honorable discharge in 1971, he returned home to Ripley and headed to Indianapolis, IN or NAP town as he called it. He would finish his education at Ivy Tech College all while working at Chrysler Foundry as a foreman and supervisor. Moving back to Mississippi in 1976, Mr. Simmons worked for the Ripley Police Department. Prior to his retirement in 1999 he worked at El Paso Energy formally known as Tennessee Gas Pipeline as a operational technician.
A colorful character with a pleasant personality full of poise, charisma and pride. His pleasures included drinking coffee on his porch while reading the newspaper with his dog, Zinna, watching sports on TV and shooting the bull with his friends and family. His greatest joy was spending time with his family especially his grandchildren who affectionally call him grandad, but first and foremost as a beloved husband, father, brother, and friend.
He leaves to cherish his memory a loving wife of 49 years and 9 months Zora Lee McCloude-Simmons of Blue Mountain, MS. God blessed this union with three wonderful sons. VaSharn (Charmaine) of Olive Branch, MS; Kevin John (Stephanie) of New Albany, MS; Johnny Ray Jr (Latisha) of Blue Mountain, MS; 12 grandchildren; 4 sisters – Louise (Andrew) Bolling of Montgomery, AL; Betty Griffin-Spears; Mary (Wade) Woodford of Indianapolis, IN; Annie (John Frank) Gibbs of Tiplersville, MS; One brother-in-law: John D. Jackson of Indianapolis, IN; a host of nieces and nephews; and a special friend: Norman Gaillard who called him every day since 1999 when he first became ill.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers – Herman, Clarence, Quinton Jr, Charles and Niki Paul Simmons; One sister – Sara Inez Jackson; Three sisters-in-law – Janie, Flora, and Mary Alice Simmons; One niece – Kim Story; One nephew Ralph E. Simmons; Three brothers-in-law – William (Bill) Griffin, Al Spears and Billy Wayne Finger.
John will be remembered as a person who enjoyed and celebrated life his way.
The American Flag at the Serenity-Simmons Funeral Home entrance honors John and all veterans for their services to our country. God Bless America.
“And in the end it’s not the years in a life, it’s the life in the years” President Abraham Lincoln