It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Marion “Jay” Simms, 68, currently of Las Cruces, NM. (Formerly of Albuquerque, NM and Artesia, NM).
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Jay was born on August 22, 1951 to Donald C. and Donna “Maxine” (Meyers) Simms in El Paso, TX. The family followed Donald’s work as a minister until his death when Jay was twelve years old. At that time, they relocated to Artesia, NM.
Once in Artesia, Jay quickly became known for his athletic prowess. He played varsity football for the Artesia Bulldogs for four years and was a state record-holding swimmer for the school. He was an elected official of the student body and was voted by his senior class to have both “Prettiest Eyes” and “Best Figure” for a male student. He would often brag about his football team’s three consecutive state championships while he played for them (’66, ’67, ’68). Last fall, Jay ventured back to Artesia for his 50th high school reunion. After graduating high school, Jay first attended McMurry University in Abilene, TX before transferring to New Mexico State University.
He was the father of two children, Sarah and Kevin. He was an involved father, enjoying the rigors of shuttling his children around to sport practices, games and club meetings. He loved camping with his family.
After several years as a salesman, Jay decided to pursue his calling and went back to school to become a teacher. After graduating from NMSU with a master’s degree in education, Jay worked at Highland Elementary and University Hills Elementary in Las Cruces. He then moved for a short time to Las Vegas NV before settling in Albuquerque, NM. There he taught at Ernie Pyle Middle School and Grant Middle School. He assisted with coaching the golf team and taught math and New Mexico history. Though he was a wonderful teacher, he did not like being called a teacher. He once said, “I’m a salesman. I sell math to kids.”
After retiring from teaching, Jay returned to Las Cruces to be closer to his grandson. He and his grandson were very close, and his grandson would happily help his grandpa with chores and errands. They texted on a regular basis.
Shortly before his passing he was thrilled to meet his beautiful baby granddaughter, whose in-person introduction to him was delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Jay was a generous and loyal man. He liked to frequent the same stores and restaurants, being a “regular.” He took pride in being friendly and on a first-name basis with the workers in those stores and restaurants. He had many life-long friends and was always cultivating new bonds with his neighbors. Jay was a life-long fan of the Cubs and the Raiders. He was excited for the return of baseball and had started watching DVDs of his Cubbies’ World Series games that his son and daughter-in-law gave him for Father’s Day. He loved Coors Light, chocolate, classic rock (especially the Rolling Stones, Cream, and The Doors). He was an avid reader of both fiction and nonfiction. He had a great sense of humor and a love of conservative politics.
Jay is preceded in death by his parents and ex-wife Cindy (Hare) Simms. He is survived by his daughter Sarah (Simms) Moralez and husband Adam of Las Cruces, NM; son Kevin Simms and wife Marie of Albuquerque, NM; grandson Dante Moralez; granddaughter Robyn Simms; brothers Donald Simms and Garth Simms; sister Paula (Simms) Timmerman; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He will be sorely missed by those he leaves behind.
There will be a private service for family and close friends at this time. A larger celebration of life will be held once gatherings are permitted. Services are provided by Getz Funeral Home, Las Cruces, NM. Memorial donations to “Stuff the Bus” can be made at https://lascrucestoday.com/stuffthebus/ or Coats for Kids at http://lascrucescoatsforkids.com/.