Jay G. "Jody" Simmons of Raleigh was born on Dec. 29, 1958, in Southport. He was the third of five children.
His parents, JoAnn Bellamy Simmons and Jesse Oliver Simmons, had a family farm in Ash, and in Shallotte the Holiday Drive Inn movie theater, Brunswick Cold Storage, and Bellamy Hardware, all of which the children were required to work and help support the family businesses.
As a high school student he loved to write for the sports section of The Brunswick Beacon, but he decided he would quit high school and begin trying to make a living for himself.
Jody met Janet Robinson and immediately fell in love. Janet was only visiting Brunswick County, and Jody refused to let her leave. They were married soon after meeting and began a 13-year marriage.
During the marriage Jody worked as a farmer, helped his grandfather Norman Bellamy build shrimp boats, ran Bellamy Hardware for his family, became a licensed plumber, started his own plumbing company, developed and built Village Pines office park and condos, and became a real estate broker.
He was active in town politics, serving on the town planning board for five years and was elected to the board aldermen for the town of Shallotte from 1987-1991.
During the 1980s he became a member of the Shallotte Masonic Lodge.
In 1984, Jody and Janet had one child, Jay Gould Simmons Jr., whom they nicknamed Gee.
In 1991, Jody and Janet decided to go their separate ways, but they have remained friends over the years.
During the next few years Jody went through a couple of jobs. He worked for Ryan's Steakhouse as a remodeling contractor and worked with family members managing real estate. It was during this time that Jody met the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, Patricia Watson Rizzo.
Trish, as she is known, and Jody would date for five years before finally tying the knot in 1998.
Trish and Jody would grow into an inseparable pair who enjoyed every day of their lives.
From this marriage he would gain a daughter, Alexa Rizzo. He continued to buy, sell and manage real estate while also running a very successful business, Custom Plumbing company.
Jody loved to try new things and new careers. Throughout his life he gained many titles: politician, mason, licensed auctioneer, licensed plumber, and licensed contractor, and a graduate of the Realtor Institute.
Of all the titles he gained, a loving husband and father were his most treasured.
Trish and Jody traveled all of the U.S. and enjoyed many extended weekends at their beach house in Holden Beach. He was able to see both of his children grow to become independent adults.
Jody is survived by his wife, Patricia Watson Simmons; son, Jay Gould Simmons Jr. (Rachel) of Huntsville, Ala.; daughter, Alexa M. Rizzo of Augusta, Ga.; mother, Jo Ann B. Simmons of Ash; brothers, Norman Jesse Simmons of Ash, Jason Oliver Simmons (Cindy) of Ash, and Jeffery Neal Simmons (Tillie) of Holden Beach; sister, Jo Anna S. Hinceman (Butch) of Statesville; and several aunts, uncles and nephews.
A service to celebrate his life will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel, 944 Old Knight Road in Knightdale.
The family will receive relatives and friends prior to the service from 6-6:45 p.m. and immediately following the service from 7:30-8 p.m.
An additional service will be at Sabbath Home Baptist Church, 990 Sabbath Home Road SW in Holden Beach, on Thursday, Nov. 29. The service will begin at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions be made to The
, 8300 Health Park, Suite 10, Raleigh, NC 27615.
Online condolences to the family may be sent to poolefuneral.com
Arrangements by Poole Funeral Home, Knightdale.