Jerry Simmons

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It is with a heavy heart, we announce that Jerry Simmons of Empire received his crown in Heaven on the evening of Aug. 9, 2019, at the age of 66. 

Jerry Simmons was born in Meridan, Miss. on Dec. 16, 1952. Early in life, he found his passion was helping others. He followed that passion to become a nurse, and for over 30 years, he touched the lives of countless people. One of his proudest accomplishments was receiving the Excellence in Nursing award from UAB Hospital in Birmingham. He was a true outdoorsman who loved to hunt, go fishing with his best friend and wife Patti, and visit campgrounds across the south. He was an amazing father, who not only loved his children unconditionally, but also taught them the meaning of loyalty and what it means to have a servant's heart.

Jerry was an incredible man, with a huge heart, impeccable character, and mentor to many.  He will be missed. Our world will be a little less bright without his smile.  

He is survived by his wife, Patti Simmons of Empire; brother, Claude B. Simmons Jr. “Butch” of Bend, Ore.; daughter, April Austin of Meridian, Miss.; son, Sam Simmons of Boaz, Ala.; daughter, Shawnalee Hitt of Katy, Tex.; son-in-law, Justin Hitt of Katy, Tex.; son, Adam Briner of Empire; future daughter-in-law, Jessica Birdwell of Empire; grandson, Sebastian Hitt of Katy, Tex.; granddaughter, Kylee Hitt of Katy, Tex.; granddaughter, Maddy Graybeal of Empire; grandson, Jonah Kinney of Meridian, Miss.; granddaughter, Chloe Kinney of Meridian, Miss.; grandson, Wyatt Simmons of Meridian, Miss.; granddaughter, Harper Simmons of Meridian, Miss.; and a host of other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his twin brother, Terry Simmons; father, Claude B. Simmons Sr.; step father, John Cumbus; mother, Elizabeth Cumbus; mother-in-law, Lula Neumann; aunt, Eileen Culpepper-White; aunt, Ruth Naylor; and uncle, Sam Culpepper.

A memorial to celebrate his life will be held at Dora Church of God on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, at 3 p.m. Family and friends will be welcomed between 2 and 3 p.m.

Bell Funeral Home, Sumiton; 205-648-6611