Michael Simmons Mar. 29, 1939 - Feb. 7, 2017
Michael Simmons, 77, of Punta Gorda, Florida, died from a brain hemorrhage Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 at Bayfront Health Hospital.
Born on March 29th, 1939, in Scottsburg, Indiana, he was the son of Altas and Marion Dooley Simmons. He married Sally Montgomery in 1973 but later divorced. He is survived by four sisters--Margaret (Lloyd) Marnitz of Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Juliana Simmons of Ellicott City, Maryland, Dr. Kathleen (Tom) Jones of Windsor, Colorado, Mary Ann (Jess) Etchinson of Ogleville, Indiana, and one brother--James (Michele) Simmons of Garland, Texas. He had 8 nephews, 6 nieces, 7 great-nephews, and 9 great-nieces. He was preceded in death by one brother, John, and both of his parents.
Michael graduated from Seymour High School in 1957 and Indiana State College (now University) in 1964. He began his multi-faceted career as a Biology Teacher at Arsenal
Technical High School in Indianapolis and teaching data processing at Indiana Vocational Technical College. For 13 years, Michael held a variety of positions with IBM Corporation, including Systems En- gineer, Marketing Representative, and Instruction Manager. Between1980-1995, other positions he held included: ('80-'84)Executive Vice President of American Fletcher National Bank (Indianapolis, IN); ('84 - '88) President of Fidelity Systems Company (Boston, MA); ('88 - '90) Executive VP of Bank of Ameri- ca's Systems Engineering Department, where he worked with a staff of 5,700 in nineteen countries (San Francisco, CA); ('90 - '93) Group Executive VP of Technology and Operations for the Bank of Bos- ton working with a staff of 3,800; ('93 - '95) President of M.S. Associates, Inc. consulting firm (Win- chester, MA). Michael finished his business career as president of Security Capital Group, Inc. (Santa Fe, NM).
Michael loved people and served on many boards where he was able to make connections. Through networking, he learned and shared many ideas. He was involved in community projects wherever he happened to be living. Honors he received included: Who's Who in Colleges & Universities, Outstand- ing Young Man of America, IBM Golden Circle Marketing Award, and Who's Who in Finance and Indus- try. He is in his high school's Hall of Fame and received an honorary Ph.D from Marian University (2010) as well as a Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana State University. He jokingly said, "Now you can call me Dr. Dr. Simmons!"
His passion for cars started at an early age and continued until his death. He liked to buy and refurbish autos that were popular during key times of his life. He loved to watch NASCAR and entered/drove some of his own cars in local stock car races.
One legacy that he was very proud of is the Sycamore Tricycle Derby at Indiana State University. Michael and a few of his friends came up with the idea of the race to keep students from leaving cam- pus during Homecoming Weekend. It was started in 1963 and continues today on a beautiful track in front of the Michael Simmons Student Activities Center. A large planned gift by him to the ISU Founda- tion's March On! Campaign established a student team activity endowment with the goal of fostering leadership, communication, and teamwork.
Marian University in Indianapolis, where 4 of Michael's relatives graduated, has been the recipient of some of his largesse. His donations have helped upgrade the University's computer system, added to his mother's scholarship fund, and helped build The Simmons Family Room in the Student Center.
No matter where Michael went, he always wanted to "fix" things, whether it be cars, institutions, corpo- rations, towns, or people. When Hurricane Charlie devastated Punta Gorda, Michael worked with vari- ous people who had damage to their property to obtain settlements five times the initial offer from their insurance companies. He also help fund construction of aluminum ramps for the Charlotte Harbor Re-
gatta so disabled athletes had access to the docks and could participate in the World Disabled Sailing Paralympic Championships (Florida). A plaque honoring Michael is at the Laishley Park Marina.
Michael was truly a Renaissance Man and will be sorely missed. He donated 25% of his income to those in need for education, housing, and health services. In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible memorial gifts can be sent to The Michael Simmons Charitable Foundation, c/o Kathleen Jones, Trustee, 601 Locust St., Windsor, CO 80550, which will ensure that Michael's philanthropic commitments will continue.
A Memorial Mass and Reception will be held at Marian University (3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Burial will take place in Seymour, Indiana at Riverview Cemetery on Saturday, March 25 at 4:00 PM.
Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel assisting with arrangements.
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