Jean Gilmer Simmons

Martha Jean Gilmer Simmons passed away peacefully on February 12, 2018 at age 90. She was born September 2, 1927 to Lucy Dismuke Gilmer and Raymond Evans Gilmer and lived all of her life in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Robert Ellis Simmons, and her brother Dr. Joseph Franklin Gilmer. She is survived by her four children, Robert Ellis Simmons, Jr, Rachel Simmons Fleming (Gary), Gilmer Tucker Simmons (Leigh), and Julia Simmons Thomason (Danny). She is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Robert Ellis Simmons, III (Angie), Elizabeth Armistead Simmons, Jessica Vail Russell (Daniel), Barry Michael Vail, Jr. (Angie), Jacob Lambert Vail (Chessa), Bradford Simmons Vail (Deanna), Julia Virginia Simmons, Tucker Beasley Simmons, Ellen Leigh Simmons, Joseph Robert Thomason, Abigail Victoria Thomason, 13 great grandchildren, and her brother, Dr. Raymond Evans Gilmer, Jr (Sarah), of Winter Park, Florida as well as host of nieces, nephews and other family. Mrs. Simmons was a graduate of Woodlawn High School and Birmingham-Southern College, and also studied at Judson College, Howard College (now Samford University) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She was a dedicated elementary school teacher in the Birmingham Public School system her whole career, and spent the vast majority of her teaching years at Holman and Comer elementary schools, teaching thousands of children of the Woodlawn Highlands and Crestwood neighborhoods. After her retirement from teaching she traveled and led tours extensively around the country and overseas for many years. A very talented musician, she had served as a church pianist and organist for several area churches during her college years. She also was a member of the Hugh Thomas Chorus, a semi-professional choir that toured in 1951 and sold out Town Hall in New York City, NY, and performed to rave reviews. Over the years she sang with various other groups including the Birmingham Civic Chorus. As a lifelong member of Liberty Park Baptist Church (formerly Woodlawn Baptist Church) she was active in every aspect of church life during her lifetime, from teaching in her younger years to leading the senior adult program in her later years. Her love for music never ended. She participated in the church music programs until she was no longer able to do so. Visitation will be Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Liberty Park Baptist Church with the funeral service beginning at 1:00 PM, and burial following at Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Senior Adult Ministry of Liberty Park Baptist Church.