In Memory of Jody Simms
In memory of Jody Simms, born to West and the late Bessie
Mae Weaver on September 23, 1954 in .,Detroit, Michigan.
Jody was the fifth of eleven children. Five of her six
brothers preceded her in death.
Jody grew up in Detroit where she attended public schools.
As a young woman she had exceptional r:.':lree~ educational
and community service aspirations and knew that California
was the place to be. She moved to California in the early
1970's and quickly found her community service niche as a
mentor and organizer of children's programs. She was "Pied
Piper" to many an Oakland child. She was a teacher a
friend, a confidant and watched them grow into adulthood.
Her work with children and young adults continued
throughout her life.
Soon after arriving to California, Jody accepted a position
with American Telephone & Telegraph ("AT& T"). Her career
with both Pacific Bell and AT& T spanned approximately 19
years. Here she found her career niche. Jody started as
an operator, moved to various occupational positions and
then on to management.
During her years at A T & T, she became known and respected
for her work as a labor organizer and negotiator with the
Communications Workers of America, Loca19415. As usual for
Jody, she recognized there was a need for active union
participation and became a shop steward. Shortly
thereafter; she was appointed to Chief Shop Steward, then
elected as Contractual Vice President, Convention Delegate,
member of the Executive Board and was an Assistant to the
President of Local 9415. Jody was the primary
representative of the Local's Hawaii unit, Chairperson of
the Education Committee, a member of the Equity Committee,
the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), A. Philip
Randolph Institute, and Alliance for Employee Growth and
Development, Inc. ("Alliance, just to name a few. While
Chair of the Alliance, she was instrumental in getting the
Alliance to sponsor on-site higher educational programs for
employees. The educational programs created during her
tenure as Chair were ground breaking. Never before had
non-management employees had the opportunity for personal
development through expansive curricula. As an A T & T
employee, she was active in the A T & T Black Alliance and
selected to quality of work life teams. Jody also
completed her Baccalaureate of Science Degree from the
University of San Francisco in Management of Information
Systems and received her Paralegal Certificate from Saint
Mary's College of California.
In 1999, Jody was promoted to and known as an exceptional
manager who was on the fast track. As an manager, Jody was
responsible for the Expedite Group in Pleasanton. Jody
accepted the responsibility with grace and was instrumental
in creating and streamlining procedures, which produced
greater customer and employee satisfaction. Jody was
revered for her selflessness and known as a champion of
Jody was genuine. She was an intelligent woman of
principle, sometimes seeming unapproachable, but really
having a heart of gold filled with compassion for others.
She was fair minded, fighting for causes, and defending
those incapable of defending themselves, always willing to
give the benefit of doubt. She had a zest for life and was
surrounded by a rainbow of friends whom she often shared
special secrets and laughter. Jody also joined Saint
Peter's Episcopal Church in Oakland where she was baptized
and confirmed. She will be missed.