Martin Ernest SIMMONS

Obituary
11 entries
The Guest Book is expired.



SIMMONS, Martin Ernest Age 73 of Nashville. Died on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 surrounded by his family at home after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of more than 50 years, Judith "Judy" Fingerle Simmons; children, Jay Carter Simmons (Amy) of Atlanta, Alison Simmons Wingo (John) and Martin Earle Simmons (Mary Katherine) of Nashville. He is also survived by grandchildren, John McLemore Wingo, William Reed Wingo, Emma Corinne Wingo, Margaret Aline Simmons and Corinne Chapin Simmons all of Nashville. He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin Ernest Simmons and Corinne Cloy Simmons. Born in Natchez, Mississippi, he attended Natchez High School, where he participated in a number of academic and athletic activities and was a commencement speaker. He attended Louisiana State University on an Engineering Scholarship and graduated with a degree in Political Science. At LSU, Simmons was active and held leadership positions in a number of student organizations. He was President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, President of Omicron Delta Kappa, President of Phi Sigma Alpha and President of the Honor Council. Simmons served as Deputy Division Commander of LSU's ROTC division, the 2nd largest ROTC division in the United States. Most importantly, in his sophomore year at LSU, Simmons met Judy Fingerle of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Judy herself was very involved in LSU student activities and served as Vice President of the LSU student body. Simmons graduated from LSU in 1961 and stayed in Baton Rouge to teach at the university while Judy finished her senior year. They married the Saturday after Judy's graduation from LSU on June 23, 1962. After they married, they moved to Charlottesville where Simmons attended The Law School of The University of Virginia from which he graduated in 1965. Because of his ROTC activity, Simmons was obligated to two years of active military service in the U.S. Army. In 1965, Simmons entered into military service at Fort Benning, Georgia and subsequently, transferred to Fort Holabird in Baltimore. As part of his active duty, Simmons was Personnel Security Officer of the United States Army Military Intelligence Command and honorably discharged at the rank of Captain. Following active duty, Simmons was recruited by and joined the legal department of Life & Casualty Insurance Company and in 1967, they made Nashville their home. At L&C, he concentrated on joint ventures and complex commercial lending for over six years and met one of his greatest mentors in Allen Steele. Simmons was a founding partner of Dearborn & Ewing law firm where he led the firm for several years. Shortly after joining D&E, he became Project Counsel of the development of what is now the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Nashville. While at D&E, Simmons performed a substantial amount of work for JMR Construction Company led by close friend, Joe M. Rodgers. In 1977, Simmons was recruited by Rodgers International BV, the parent company of the Rodgers Construction enterprises worldwide, assuming the role of CEO. The following year, Simmons and his family moved to Amsterdam near where RIBV was headquartered. Simmons left RIBV but remained on the Board of Directors, to return to the United States and perform the similar duties as the Chief United States Officer of Rodgers Construction Company International. He later resumed his work with Dearborn & Ewing and during his international work, Simmons made more than 48 trips to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while supporting activities of RIBV and other clients. After his tenure with D&E, he left the firm to become General Counsel of First American Corporation in 1992. During his service with First American, Simmons became Chief Administrative Officer and Principal Financial Officer. In 2001, Simmons left to form the Nashville office of law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC. During his tenure at FBT, Simmons served as Project Counsel and Bond Counsel for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the $140 million Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Simmons found this to be one of the most interesting projects in which he ever participated. In 2011, Simmons and four other lawyers from FBT moved to Stites & Harbison, PLLC. The law firm has been exceptionally welcoming and generous to the Simmons family, for which they are all extremely grateful. In addition to his esteemed legal career, Simmons spent over 40 years as the President of Chopin Oil & Gas which controls over 5,000 acres of mineral rights in Rapides and Natchitoches Parishes in Louisiana. During his various careers, Simmons has been active in a number of community organizations and activities. He was a member of the Board of Directors and General Counsel of the Tennessee Business Roundtable. He also served in a similar position of the Nashville Business Council, which he founded in the mid 1990's. Simmons also served as Chairman of the Board of St. George's Kindergarten, which he often described as the most difficult position he had ever held. Simmons served on the Boards of the Nashville Symphony Association, Sovran Bank, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Meriwether Capital Corporation, the Tennessee Association of Life Insurance Companies, Rodgers Construction Company and was Chairman of the Lawyers Committee of the ABA Insurance Association where he helped craft the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act on Financial Modernization. Martin and Judy have been longtime members of Belle Meade Country Club as well as Wexford Plantation in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Simmons was proud to have played in a high school band with Jerry Lee Lewis, had a drink with Hemingway in Mexico and met or befriended several U.S. Presidents, Members of Congress and Governors. Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 10:00 til 11:30 a.m. at St. George's Episcopal Church, with service immediately following at 11:30 a.m. Interment to follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Senator Andrew Lamar Alexander, Jr., the Honorable Lewis Homer Conner, the Honorable Robert Lynn Echols, James Otis Hastings, Burgess Edmond McCranie, Jr., Nelson Wayne Shields, John Mark Stuckey, Jr. and Alan Darrell Valentine. Honorary Pallbearers will be Charles Wright Pinson and Dr. Karl Vandevender. Lay Readers will be Stephen H. Horrell and M. Clark Spoden. Mr. Simmons' family has asked that memorials be made to Nashville Symphony Association, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Ingram Cancer Center, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Franklin or Alive Hospice.


logo

Published in The Tennessean on Feb. 15, 2013
bullet Army bullet LSU
- ADVERTISEMENT -