John Henry Simmons, Jr. was born on September 16, 1936, to John Henry Sr. and Helen Bryant Simmons in Jacksonville, Florida. He was later blessed to be parented by Arthur and Helen Hampton and was the oldest of seven siblings. He was educated in the local schools of Duval County and graduated in 1956 from Stanton High School.
On June 3, 1972, John married the love of his life, Juanita Foston, and they were the proud parents of two beautiful children: John Henry, III and Tavia Wantez.
John began employment with Winn Dixie Stores, Inc. as a truck driver on January 7, 1960, and made his last run on January 27, 1997. He retired from the company on January 28, 1997 after completing 37 years of outstanding service.
John accepted Christ at an early age at St. Joseph Baptist Church. Two months after his marriage to Juanita, he moved his membership to Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church on August 20, 1972. He was an active servant of this branch of Zion for 49 years. He served the congregation as a member of the Deacons Ministry, leader of Districts #4/5, Ushers Ministry, Culinary Ministry, and the Board of Trustees as corporate and church treasurer. “After you’ve done all, you can do, there is still room for more.” He was a true servant to the end.
He was also a 33° Mason and served as: Honorary Past Grand Master for The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M., Inc.; Grand Ambassador-Betsy E. Pierce Grand Council Lady Knights; Deputy Grand Master, District #2; Deputy of the Valley for the United Supreme Council for the Valley of Florida; Past Worshipful Master W. L. Campbell Lodge #14; Past Eminent Commander John H. Simmons Commandery #3; Past Commander-in-Chief, Consistory #1; Past Potentate-Shriner’s of Mecca Temple #1, A.A.O.N.M.S.; Past President of Prince Hall Masonic Club; Patron-True Vine Chapter #181, Order of Eastern Star; Ambassador-Betsy E. Pierce #1; Patron-Kalif Court #18 Daughters of Sphinx and Past Patron of St. Mathews Chapter #143 Order of Eastern Star.
Deacon John H. Simmons, Jr. was a servant in God’s army, and like a good servant, he heard the master’s call on Wednesday afternoon, June 2, 2021 at 4:19 p.m.
His parents, John H. Simmons, Sr., Helen Simmons Hampton and Arthur Hampton; siblings, Theodore Hampton, Clemmon Hampton, Betty Holmes, Geneva Parker, Annette Botford, Willie Larry Hampton; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Johnny B. and Edith Foston; brother-in-law, Johnny B. Foston, Jr. preceded him in death.
Deacon Simmons’ memory will be cherished by a loving family and many friends: wife: Juanita Foston Simmons; children: John H. Simmons, III (Melody) and Tavia W. Simmons; grandchildren: Shanika Eason (Petrick), Cameron Simmons, Jeron Simmons, Javontae Simmons, and Ashley Robertson; 7 great grandchildren; mom: Melvina Simmons; sister: Gussie Mae Boatright (Willie); sisters-in-law: Wanda Foston and Kimiko Foston; brother-in-law: Robert Foston (Eva); nieces and nephews: Florence McClinton (Anthony), Deborah Holmes, Cynthia Jenkins (Michael), Lisa Holmes, Tiffani Foston, Konasha Wilcox (Mark), Gregory Hampton (Frankie), Willie Holmes, Calvin Holmes (Cindy), Edward Robinson (Hester), Leonard Robinson (Cassandra), Victor Hampton (Adrienne), DeAngelo Hampton; Michael Hampton, Theodore Hampton Jr., Javon Bryant and Dion Bryant (Laresha); godchildren: Keith Gallon, Kimberly Gallon (Lindsay), Charlie White, Jr. Ralph-Edward White; Cousins: Burney/Dixon Family and Bryant/Chapman Family of Philadelphia, PA.; devoted friends: Raymond & Cornelia Haywood, James & Brendisha Gallon, and Harold & Brenda Brown and numerous other relatives and friends.
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Northside is serving the Family.
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