James David Simons

October 1, 1948April 6, 2019
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James “Jim” David Simons, 70, of Raleigh passed away April 6, 2019. Jim was born October 1, 1948 in Richmond Virginia to the late William Kenneth Sr. and Mildred Pearl Simons.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Patricia Simons; his children, Ashley Simons-Rudolph (Joseph) and David Simons; and three grandchildren, Aedan Simons-Rudolph, Virginia Simons-Rudolph, and Jackson Simons.

His family will receive friends Thursday, April 11, at Brown Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 E Millbrook Rd, from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm with a memorial service following at 6:30 pm.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

In lieu of flowers. Contributions may be made to the National Parkinsons Foundation.


  • Visitation Thursday, April 11, 2019
  • Memorial Service Thursday, April 11, 2019

James David Simons

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Dee Freeman

April 13, 2019

During my many years of public service, I have been privileged to have worked with some remarkable and extraordinary people. Jim Simons was one of the best of the best with whom I was honored to share my professional journey.

Not only was he acutely talented in his field of expertise, he possessed that rare ability to see the common sense in difficult and complex circumstances. While he was resolutely professional, he was also respectful of all with whom he interacted as he sought to protect the environment and truly serve the people of North Carolina.

I enjoyed working with Jim at DENR as we dealt with the issues and challenges of the day. Mostly, however, my day was brightened when I saw his unique smile radiating from his face and the laugh or two we would find in the day’s discussions. The news of his passing deeply saddened me, but the memories of our time together at DENR still prompts a smile and happy thoughts.

God bless you, Jim, and your family. May you always be in his grace and comforting arms.

Dee Freeman

Brad Cole

April 11, 2019

More condolences from ASDSO:

I am sad to learn Jim Simons has passed. I had the opportunity to work for him at the North Carolina Dam Safety Program. He was a great teacher and mentor to me. Rest in peace Jim.

Maxwell Fowler
Civil Engineer
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Duluth GA

I considered Jim to be a good friend, even though our encounters were few and far between. That was just his manner - he could have been a politician, except that he didn't want to have to throw up after every speech.
The first thing I remember learning from Jim was that the hockey team in North Carolina was named the Hurricanes, and of course my experience was with the Miami Hurricanes (not hockey). We will miss this kind and intellectual man.

Stephen H. Partney, PE
Mining Engineer, Technology Services Branch
William L. Beatty Federal Building
Alton, Illinois


Taken aback when I saw that Jim had passed. Very sad news. He was a gentle soul, always seemed in good spirits and with whom I enjoyed his company on many occasion, many Board meetings/trips. He was dedicated to ASDSO's cause and served the Association with distinction. RIP Jim.

Richard DeBold


May he rest in peace.

Paul Malocha
Senior Project Engineer
Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
Ann Arbor MI

Duke Bevard

April 10, 2019

Jim was a member of Leesville BASSMasters for 6 years, and had a passion for fishing that is rare even among passionate fisherman. Jim loved to catch chain pickerel (aka a "jack"), which are the bane of bass fisherman, more than anything that swims. He was written up in North Carolina Sportsman several times, and was recognized as one of the experts in the state on catching them. Mayo Lake near Roxboro, NC was his favorite place to fish for them, and Jim always had a little extra pep in his step when the club would fish a tournament there.

Jim was good natured about his condition. Prospective members would attend our club meetings sometimes. When we’d go around the room introducing ourselves, Jim would usually tell them he had Parkinsons as he introduced himself. When he did, I’d tell them, "look, if Jim is fishing a tournament and there's a good shakey head bite on, you’re fishing for second." He’d look over and just crack that wonderful grin.

I feel privileged to have known Jim (and his family), and saddened that I didn't know him longer than I did. He was one the most generous people I've ever known and also one of the strongest willed. The man didn't have any quit in him, especially when it came to fishing. I know he’s got the Good Lord pulled aside right now, giving him tips on how to catch more jacks.

Miller Sigmon

April 10, 2019

Jim was a true leader in his profession and was a thoughtful friend to those of us who knew him through PD... ....He never lost his courage or commitment to raise money for Parkinson's Disease research.....From the very beginning of the "Moving Day" fundraiser in North Carolina he formed a Team each year to work together to raise money for the Parkinson's Foundation...He was our leader and provided the" glue " for our mission....He will be missed...but will always remain a role model for those of us who shared his disease...Thank you , Jim...

Brad Cole

April 10, 2019

More from ASDSO

This is very sad news indeed. Jim was a stalwart of ASDSO and I am proud to say I got to know him well over many years at Conferences, but even more-so through the Peer Review Program. Jim was one of our "founders". I had the previlage to travel with Jim to many states and was always learning from his thoughtful quiet demeanor. He will be missed by so many. RIP Jim.

William Bingham
Camp Hill PA


Sad to hear - Jim was ​a great friend and a true gentleman. Having served on the Board with Jim for many years we got to bond over engineering and college basketball. He would educate me about coal ash dams and I would respond with spring snow melt challenges. And his wife Pat was a treasure whenever she made it to a meeting. I can still remember his speech as incoming president when he said it took him years to figure out "Raul rhymes with Y'all" . RIP Jim.

Raul Silva
Deputy Chief Engineer
MA Department of Conservation & Recreation

Brad Cole

April 10, 2019

I shared the sad news with ASDSO. Jim had an impact across this country. Thought I would share and will update as any more arrive.

Mr. Jim Simons, Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away this weekend. Many of you likely know him. He was Director of Land Resources in NC Dept. Environment and Natural Resources when he completed his 39 year career in 2012, also serving as Chief Engineer and State Dam Safety Engineer for the State of North Carolina. He was on ASDSO Board of Directors from 1991-1996 and President from 1994-1995. He cared for the people of North Carolina, shared his knowledge with anyone who would listen and loved his profession. Lastly but most important, he was one great man to anyone who knew him. Rest easy Rock.

Brad Cole
Stormwater Asset Manager
City of Raleigh
Raleigh NC

I am so sorry to hear this news. Jim was a good friend and a great president for ASDSO. I enjoyed our time together, along with his wife Pat, on ASDSO Board trips. He did so much for this organization in its early days and for the State of North Carolina. He will be missed.

Lori C. Spragens
Executive Director
Association of State Dam Safety Officials, Inc.

I am saddened to hear this news too. I remember Jim from my early days in ASDSO and always thought of him as a kind and caring person who was willing to share good advice. He was a champion for ASDSO.

Jim Pawloski

Sad news indeed. Jim was such a wonderful, kind and gentle man; always smiling, always happy and such a delight to be around.

Brad Iarossi, P.E., Chief
Dam, Bridge & Seismic Safety Branch
Division of Engineering
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Lindy Leonard

April 10, 2019

I worked with Jim during my career with NCDENR and was able to share times with him. He always loved his work. Whether it was in the mining program, dam inspection or working on special projects he seemed to give all of his attention to what needed to be done. I always respected him as a co-worker and will always remember his willingness to participate in any way to help support those he worked with and his kind words of encouragement when it was needed. We will be thinking about his family during this time of loss. God bless you.

Ruth Sheehan

April 10, 2019

Ashley, I am so very very sorry to learn of your dad's passing. He seemed to be a person everyone felt lifted by. I'm thinking of you -- Ruth

Pam Vivian

April 10, 2019

In the mid '80s I worked with Jim and many Special Others. Jim is 'A Diamond In The Rough,' and such a Gentle Soul. I will always have you Pat and Your Family in my prayers. Jim will Always be looking after each of you while still influencing the land He Loves. Keep Your Faith and Smile At Each Sunrise knowing He Is Smiling With You. Good Bless Each of Your Days.

Jessica Godreau

April 10, 2019

I served with Jim on two appointed Department work teams, EPAT and the Quality Guidance Team. Jim was friendly, thoughtful, logical, and fun to have as a member. He helped diffuse tension on EPAT. One of my fond memories was a QGT meeting down at the coast, where Jim brought a selection of his home brews for the group to try around the pool that evening! Fun times.