John E. "Jack" Simms, a retired executive vice president whose career at American Credit Indemnity Co. spanned more than four decades, died Friday from complications of Alzheimer's disease at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 88.
The son of a Methodist minister and a homemaker, John Elliott Simms was born in Surry, Va. He was raised in Delaware, Virginia and St. Mary's County, Md., where he graduated in 1940 from Margaret Brent High School in Helen.
He moved to Baltimore and went to work as a fireman for the old Pennsylvania Railroad before enlisting in the Army Air Forces.
Mr. Simms served in Italy with the 51st Troop Carrier Wing. At the end of the war, he returned to Baltimore and married Zoeanne Park.
Mr. Simms studied at night on the G.I. Bill at the Baltimore College of Commerce while working during the day at American Credit.
In 1953, he became a certified public accountant and continued working at American Credit, where he became executive vice president. He retired in 1990.
His professional memberships included the National Association of Credit Managers and the Association of Insurance Executives and Agents.
The longtime Stevenson Lane resident, who had moved to the Mercy Ridge retirement community in 2009, was a charter member of Towson Golf and Country Club. He also liked playing golf at Eagles Nest Country Club.
He enjoyed woodworking, vegetable gardening and spending winters in the South.
Mr. Simms was a member for more than 50 years of Towson Presbyterian Church.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the chapel at Stella Maris, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Simms is survived by a son, John E. Simms Jr. of Towson; a brother, William Simms of Massachusetts; two sisters, Catherine Lewis of Parkville and Doris Clifton of Daytona, Fla.; and two grandsons.