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Joseph R. Simmons

d. January 15, 2024

Monticello

Joseph R. Simmons

Joseph R. Simmons, 89, of Monticello, IN, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on Monday, January 15, 2024.

Joe was born on January 25, 1934 in Hammond, IN, to the late John and Mary (Funfer) Simmons. On October 12, 1957, he married the absolute love of his life, the former Dolores Gohde at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Hammond, IN, where they remained parishioners for many years.

Joe was a 1952 graduate of Hammond High School and went on to join the United States Marines, where he achieved the rank of sergeant and served in combat during the Korean War. He worked at Lever Bros. in Hammond for 33 years where he received several awards and retired as a department supervisor. Joe was a member of the Moose Lodge, both in Hammond and Monticello.

Joe had a life-long love of sports. He was an athlete in his youth, playing football, basketball, and baseball. Later in life, he enjoyed softball, golfing, boating, and was the captain of his Lever Bros. bowling team. Joe was a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates…and any team that played against the Chicago Cubs. He also loved Notre Dame football and attended games in South Bend. He coached youth league sports for many years including Little League baseball and CYO basketball at St. Casimir School in Hammond, IN. Many of his former players told him that he made a positive impact in their life. When he wasn’t coaching, he was attending games and practices for all his children. He was an artistic painter, woodworker, and an avid reader. He cherished time with his family. He was a member of Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church.

As anyone who knew Joe would tell you, he was one of a kind. He told you like it was. He lived life on his terms and to the fullest. Along with his wife, Joe enjoyed hosting Christmas Eve parties which became legendary. He was a great wedding dancer. He was charming, funny, intelligent, and staunchly loyal to his family and friends. He will be missed by many.  

Joe is survived by Dolores, his wife of 66 years. He is also survived by his children: Mary Kay (Patrick) Ader, Tammy (Sam) Olsen, Joe (Mary Beth) Simmons, Jr., and Tina (David) Valentin; siblings: John (Jo) Simmons and Charlotte Zukoski; thirteen grandchildren: Christopher (Kristen), Angela, Maureen (Billy), Natalie (Vince), Katie (Rich), Colleen, Danny (Samantha), Benjamin, Brianna, Joey, Kelsey, Riley and Francine; eight great-grandchildren: Dillon, Joshua, Sullivan, Shae, Vinny, Bennett, Claire and Jane; several dear nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Joe was also preceded in death by sisters Mary Jane Feinstein and Margaret Duffala, and brothers-in-law Ted Zukoski and Jim Duffala.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 12:00pm at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Monticello. Military rites will follow after the mass. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Monticello or St. Jude's Children Hospital.  

Friends and family are encouraged to share a photo, a memory, or messages of condolence at www.springervoorhisdraper.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph R. Simmons, please visit our flower store.

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