James Michael Simmons, 79, of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away with the comfort of his family by his side on November 15, 2022. Jim was born in Twickenham, England on August 15, 1943, to Charles A. Simmons of Indianapolis, Indiana and Nellie Hartley Simmons of Hampton Hill, England. Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Linda J. (Miller) Simmons, three daughters, Anna (Mike Waite) Simmons of San Anselmo, California; Jill (John) Spiegleman of Denver, Colorado; and Kate (Lanny) Rossman of Indianapolis, Indiana; daughter-in-law Catherine Birch of Brooklyn, New York; and grandchildren Owen, Griffin and Isabel Waite, Sam and Sophia Spiegleman, Teddy and George Simmons, Elsie, Maggie and Charlie Rossman, and Sayer and Mason Birch. He is preceded in death by his son, Mark Charles Simmons; his siblings, Alan Simmons and Suzanne (Simmons) Halloran; and parents Charlie and Nell Simmons.
Jim grew up in the Indianapolis Garfield Park neighborhood and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1961 where he played football, made a notable performance in the Spartans on Parade, and met many lifelong friends, including his wife, Linda. He attended Butler University and was a lifelong Bulldogs fan. His love of sports made him a fan of many teams as they moved from city to city.
Jim was an incomparable salesman with a unique ability to sincerely connect with people, developing deep friendships along the way. He eventually found his professional niche in the air pollution control industry as a sales and marketing executive in several successful companies. He was a coach, a mentor and dear friend to so many throughout his life. His commitment to building community was seen in his passion for coaching youth sports, and in his volunteer work with Friends of Garfield Park and Hearts and Hands. Through his good deeds, he left the world a better place.
His wife will miss all their crazy adventures together and the quiet moments in between. Jim will be remembered as a caring and loving father encouraging his children to lead lives of integrity, learning, and fun. His grandchildren will remember his playfulness, genuine interest in their lives, and trips to the coffee shop, bagel shop, and Graeter’s. We are forever grateful for his friendship, guidance, love, and humor.
The visitation is Sunday, November 20th at Lauck & Veldhof Funeral home from 2-5. The funeral mass is Monday, November 21st at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of Garfield Park or Holy Family Shelter in Indianapolis, or you can toast his memory with friends and family while listening to your favorite band!