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James O. Simmons

Mr. James O. Simmons, age 87, of Opp, Alabama passed away Thursday, March 30, 2023 in Mizell Memorial Hospital.

James would tell you that he first learned about hard work while growing up on his father’s farm.  One of his first jobs while in high school was working at Zeb’s Cake House on Covington Ave., where he made their amazing doughnuts. After graduation from high school in 1954, James took a job with BC Moores and Sons in Enterprise, Alabama.  At the age of 23, James was transferred with BC Moores in Quitman, Ga as one of their youngest managers. James married Joy Fay Manring on July 20, 1958 and they made their first home in Quitman.  The young couple moved to Evergreen, Al in 1960, shortly after the birth of their daughter Sherri.  Scott was born in 1962 while they lived in Evergreen.

James and Joy moved “home” to Opp in 1964 for James to begin work at the Farmer’s IGA Foodliner.  Some of you will recall that the first store was located in the spot where the Burger King is currently located. The store moved to LeMar Plaza in 1970 and they moved into a larger store in 1992.  During some of these years Joy also took an active role in the family business.  Scott began learning the grocery business from his Dad at the young age of 12, and he has currently been running the store solo for just a few years!!  James kept books for Scott and helped with payroll and paying the vendor up until 2017.

One of James most favorite things to do was to go out for breakfast and to sit at the Liar’s table.  Another pastime was taking a coffee break in the afternoon at Larry’s Pharmacy.  Scott has noted that Daddy would tell him that he was going to the bank (a trip that would take Scott about 5 or 10 minutes) and James would be gone for hours!

James served as an Opp City Councilman back in 1988 thru 1992.  He was honored to serve as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Opp. James loved his family, friends and being a businessman in Opp, Al.  He thought he had found a little bit of heaven here until Thursday morning….at which time, James got an invitation to the best breakfast of his life.

Mr. Simmons is survived by his wife, Joy Manring Simmons; daughter, Sherri Simmons Jeffcoat & husband, Jimmy; son, Scott Simmons & wife, Jennifer; grandchildren, Brian Wesley Simmons, Matthew Roy Simmons, Zachary James Jeffcoat, Johnny Lewis Saunders and Ryan Landry Saunders; and numerous great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Myrtle Woodham Simmons and John Cecil Simmons.

Funeral services for Mr. James O. Simmons will be held at 3:30 pm Sunday, April 2, 2023 from Wyatt Funeral Home Chapel with burial following in Peaceful Acres Memorial Gardens. Visitation will begin at 2:00 pm Sunday. Dr. Jimmy Jeffcoat and Dr. Brian Smith will be officiating. Serving as pallbearers will be Billy Whitehead, Rothel Moody, Terry Hudgens, Jay Spurlin, Derek Bryan, Johnny Saunders, Ryan Saunders and Nolan Jackson with Rex Chambless, John Adams, Deuce Taylor, Craig Norris and the First Baptist Church Deacons.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Opp, P.O. Box 963, Opp, Alabama 36467.

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