John Marshall (Jack) Simmons died January 8, 2022 surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. Jack was born April 8, 1938 to the late Albert and Agnes Simmons of St. Petersburg, Florida.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Judith; his brother Robert; and his six children: Paul (Lisa), Brian (Amanda), Janet (Tracy), Marianne (Scotty), Jennifer, and Steven (Christy). Jack is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Jack graduated from St. Petersburg High School and attended St. Petersburg Junior College. He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in electrical engineering. Jack worked for IBM for 25 years, notably serving on special projects for NASA in the late 1960’s and commercial laser applications into the 1980’s.
Jack was a fixture in the Youngsville community, volunteering for the fire department and county schools for decades. Jack worked tirelessly to establish permanently-staffed fire departments in the Youngsville area. He never missed an annual Fireman’s Day barbecue or tractor pull. He retired from volunteer firefighting having successfully responded to over 20 years of calls with only a single fire truck crash.
Jack valued education and the equalizing influence education provided for all Franklin County area students. Jack served on the Franklin County school board to ensure new school buildings in Youngsville, Gold Sands, and Edward Best communities.
Jack loved politics, travel, and folk music. He was a lifelong private pilot and dreamt of piloting his own aircraft, a beloved RV-9A. He learned to play the hammer dulcimer late in life and encouraged family and friends to explore traditional stringed instruments. Jack never met a stranger and enjoyed talking about the politics of the day with whomever he encountered.
Bright Funeral Home is serving this family. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, January 19th at 3:30 p.m. in the Bright Funeral Home Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jack’s honor and sent to the Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department at P.O. Box 238 Youngsville, NC 27596 (Attention: Simmons Memorial).