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James A. Simmons, 75, of rural Columbia City, died at 12:40 p.m. Monday, January 14, 2013, at Millerâ€™s Merry Manor, Columbia City, where he had been a resident since Nov. 8, 2012.
He was born Jan. 31, 1937, in Huntington, a son of the late Benjamin and Elsie (Shoaf) Simmons. His formative years were spent in Columbia City. He attended Columbia City High School.
On Aug. 30, 1968, he was united in marriage to Doris E. Brown. They have always made their home in Whitley County.
He was employed for 30 years with International Harvester, Fort Wayne, working in the proving grounds. He was also a volunteer for 25 years with the Columbia City Fire Department and was a former member of the Thorncreek Volunteer Fire Department.
He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles 1906, Columbia City. In his spare time he enjoyed raising and riding horses.
Surviving relatives include his wife of 44 years, Doris; sons, James A. (Sandy) Simmons of Harrisburg, Pa., Dennis D. Simmons of Columbia City, Daniel G. Simmons of Monroe, Mich. and Robert Ewing of Columbia City; daughters, Tamera S. Simmons of Columbia City, Lisa Simmons of Churubusco and Diana Simmons of Columbia City; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and a sister, Mabel Mabie of Columbia City.
He was preceded in death by two children, Rebecca Buckles and Michael Simmons; brothers, Paul, Eddie, Joe, Ned and Charles Simmons and two sisters, Ruby Bird and Ann Crawford.
The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial will be at the South Whitley Cemetery. The visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.