He started his education in the Pittsylvania County School System and after moving to Nottoway County with his family as a child, he continued his early education there. At an early age he accepted Christ and joined High Rock Baptist Church.
James began his employment with Burkeville Veneer and later began working as a heavy equipment operator with Virginia Department of Transportation until he retired.
During his life he enjoyed outdoor activities and working on equipment. He was known to be ready to help all in their time of need, but most of all, he enjoyed the company of family and friends.
James was married to Mabel Lee Simmons (she preceded him in death) and to this union three children were born, Roger (Pokey), James and Otis.
He was preceded in death by seven brothers and one sister, but leaves to cherish his memory: four sons, Roger, James, Otis (Barbara) Simmons and Kevin Fitzgerald, also Dawn and Tremaine Fitzgerald whom he loved as his own; eight grandchildren, Simone, Reggie, Jasmine, James, Larena Simmons, Shameka Bragg, Moses and Rochina Williams; three sisters, Mary Robertson of Danville, VA, Mamie (William) Eppes of Burkeville and Lois (Joseph) Eppes who stood by his side until he was summoned home; devoted niece and nephew, Emma Minor and George Simmons; a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Funeral Services Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at High Rock Baptist Church, Rice. Interment church cemetery.
W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home of Blackstone in charge of arrangements.
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