Plant City, FL - James Loris Simmons, 85, of Plant City, Florida, died on January 13, 2012, at South Florida Baptist Hospital. He was born on January 4, 1928 in Plant City, to Guy W. and Nona Mae Chitty Simmons.

As a young boy, Loris attended the Hopewell Strawberry School in Trapnell. In 1945, he graduated from Turkey Creek High School, and that fall entered college at the University of Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture in 1950. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity throughout his college years. After graduating, he entered the United States Army and served for 2 years from 1950 through 1952 during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge from service, he began his agriculture teaching career at Sarasota High School. After a year at Sarasota High School, he taught Veterans for 3 years under the Department of Veteran's Affairs. From 1956 to 1972 he taught at Turkey Creek High School, and then taught from 1972 until his retirement in 1983 at Plant City High School. He loved teaching and all of his students.

In addition to teaching, he grew citrus and owned over 100 acres of groves. He was a director for the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, past president of the Turkey Creek Farmers Activity Club, a member of Florida Citrus Mutual, and an avid hunter with his buddies in the Georgia Hunt Club. He was a member of Hopewell Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Inez Simmons; son Palmer Simmons, his wife Lee and their children Amy and Jimmy; son Wayne Simmons, his wife Cindy; daughter Stephanie Simmons West, her husband Randy and their children Ashley and Neal; and one great grandchild.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Guy and Nona Mae Simmons, his brother, Alton Guy, and sister Dorothy "Dottie" Davis. The family extends a heartfelt thanks to the friends and loving staff of Country Manor and all the compassionate workers from LifePath Hospice.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 19 at 11:00 A.M. at the Old Hopewell Baptist Church, 6001 CR 39 S, Plant City 33567, with Larry Peoples officiating, and where the family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 A.M. Interment will follow at Hopewell Memorial Gardens, Plant City. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Hopewell Baptist Church Building Fund and/or LifePath Hospice, 12973 Telecom Parkway, Suite 100, Temple Terrace, Florida 33637. Expressions of condolence at www.hopewellfuneral.com.

Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 16 to Jan. 17, 2013