James Simmons III (JJ), affectionately known as "The Rock" and "Monk" was born in Coatesville, on March 23, 1980, to Sandra Simmons and the Rev. Dr. James Simmons Jr.
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He attended Maranatha Academy and the Coatesville Area Public Schools. He graduated from Coatesville Area Senior High School in June of 1999. He subsequently attended Cheyney University and Delaware County Community College.
He was employed at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville for seven years as a dispatcher in the police department until his retirement in May 2007.
He also enjoyed serving as a volunteer fireman at the Washington Hose Fire Company in Coatesville.
As an avid wrestling fan and entrepreneur, he started an online wresting paraphernalia business entitled "JJ's Wrestling."
On May 7, 2011, he married Thadora Ja-nae Woods, formerly of St. Paul, Minn., in a beautiful ceremony at Mt. Tabor AME Zion Church.
Spiritually grounded and abundantly faithful, JJ was baptized by Rev. Dr. Cornelius Williams at Second Baptist Church in 1987. JJ's favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and he embraced this verse and made it his mantra.
On April 25, 2012, God sent His angel of mercy to the University of Pennsylvania to usher JJ home for eternal peace. He was preceded in death by his sister, Melanie Tonet Simmons.
For 32 years we were blessed to have JJ in our lives and he leaves a legacy of love, hope and inspiration to his wife, Thadora Ja-nae Woods-Simmons and two step daughters, Pamela Smith and Jazzmen Davis, all of Coatesville; his parents, Rev. Dr. James Simmons Jr. and Sandra Simmons, of Coatesville; his sister, Ebonnie Simmons-Hall, of Harrisburg; his niece, Essence Na-Jai Tonet Hall, of Harrisburg; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
The journey of life can be a difficult one, but the Lord has promised to prepare a place in heaven above, a home where we will always be with him and those we love. Jesus prepared a place for JJ and prepared JJ for that place.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 2, at All Faith Chapel, 1400 Blackhorse Hill Road, Coatesville. A viewing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in the New Evergreen Cemetery, Coatesville.
Donations in his name may be made to: The
, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215- 575-5200; and Washington Hose Company Volunteer Firefighters, 376 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, PA 19320.
Uplifting Life Services are being arranged by the DeBaptiste Funeral Homes Inc. of West Chester and Bryn Mawr. Visit www.DeBaptiste.com for information and to send condolences; 610-696-4812.
Published in Daily Local News on April 30, 2012