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James E. Simmons

September 1, 1945 ~ July 20, 2022 (age 76)

Obituary

Jim Simmons, 76, passed away on July 20, 2022.  He was born in Akron on September 1, 1945, to the late James M. and Archel Simmons and lived in New Franklin and Akron all his life, he was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, graduated from Manchester High School class of 1964, and attended Ohio State University.  He worked at BFGoodrich and retired from Norton Company/Alcoa.

 

Sgt Jim Simmons was a member of the chosen few to serve in the elite Special Forces unit known as the “Rollin’ Recon”.  Their small unit consisted of only 35 handpicked men.  The unit’s job was to react quickly at any time to be the first ones in to find the enemy, make initial contact and then get support from the remainder of the battalion to finish the job.  Their area of operation was the Mekong Delta.  On occasions, contact with the enemy would be lost and the unit would be picked up and dropped in the enemy’s lap once relocated.  Most of the time the unit was fighting guerillas from the South close to the Cambodian border.  This was an extraordinarily dangerous job and casualties among the “Rollin’ Recon” were guaranteed yet, at the same time their actions actually saved more lives than were taken.  On November 18, 1967, the group got into a firefight near Cai Lay.  There were 35 going in, 4 killed, and 23 seriously wounded and medevacked.  It was later discovered that 3 soldiers were MIA (Simmons and two others were trapped in the river).  Simmons holds a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation Medal for Heroism.  Jim’s ARCOM: “Heroism against armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam Simmons distinguished himself by valorous actions in the late evening of 16 February 1968, while serving as a Rifleman with the Reconnaissance Platoon, during a combat mission.  When his unit came under enemy rocket and small arms attack, Simmons courageously moved forward through a hail of fire to aid a wounded comrade, evacuating him to a medical evacuation site.  Simmons’ heroic actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the US military and reflect great credit upon himself and the US Army.”

 

After Jim returned to the states, he became a parachute instructor and personally logged in over 1600 jumps.  Jim chose to honor his veteran father by using his military coffin flag to jump into sporting events all over Ohio while the National Anthem Played.

 

Jim is survived by his sister, Jane (Don) Croskey; niece, Jennifer (Bill) Moore; nephews, Ryan (Steph) and Ric (Emily) Croskey; as well as, great nieces, Olivia, Caylee, and Chloe Croskey.

 

Funeral service will be held at 12:30 P.M. on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at Schermesser Funeral Home, 600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Akron, Ohio 44319 with Pastor Lucas McSurley officiating.  Family and friends may call on Wednesday from 11:30 A.M. until the time of the service at the funeral home.  Interment will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.  Memorial contributions can be made in Jim’s name to Ohio Veterans Memorial Park, P.O. Box 3, Clinton, Ohio 44216.  To leave a special message online for the family, visit our website at www.schermesserfh.com.

 

SCHERMESSER
(330) 899-9107
www.schermesserfh.com

Memorial Contributions:
Ohio Veterans Memorial Park 
P.O. Box 3
Clinton, Ohio 44216
 
 
 

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Services

Visitation
Wednesday
July 27, 2022

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Schermesser Funeral Home
600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road
Akron, OH 44319

Funeral Service
Wednesday
July 27, 2022

12:30 PM
Schermesser Funeral Home
600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road
Akron, OH 44319

Interment following funeral service
Wednesday
July 27, 2022

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
10175 Rawiga Rd
Rittman, Ohio 44270

Donations

Ohio Veterans' Memorial Park
P.O. Box 3, Clinton OH 44216
Web: https://www.ovmp.org/donate.htm

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