Tuesday, January 28, 2020

100 Days of Gratitude, Day 52: Joseph Simmons

Joseph Simpkins Simmons
Born in 1919, grew up a sharecropper in the Mississippi delta.

Served in WWII, went to college on the GI bill.  Became a prominent school principal (initially in segregated schools) and a progressive Baptist minister in Memphis.

Sent several of his kids to Exeter and Harvard.

Celebrated his 100th birthday in high style less than two months ago with hundreds of family and friends.

Lay down to sleep last week and said good night and went peacefully to the other side.

RIP, Joseph Simmons. Thank you for showing me how to live a life that acknowledges but doesn't buckle to adversity.  A life of accomplishment beyond the dreams of our ancestors. A life that shines a light for us all and for generations to come.

Moreover, he did it with a great sense of humor and adventure - often a glint of mischief in his eyes.  I liked his style.

Read more from his son (and my friend) Bryan Simmons.