JAMES R. "JIMMY" FITZSIMMONS
Inducted into The Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame
Second Grove 1949 lineman receives honor
By Tommy Priddy
P-I Sports Editor
Grove High Schools 1949 football team has been saluted for many decades now as perhaps the finest ever seen in Paris.
Another of its members is being honored as James R. "Jimmy" Fitzsimmons is being inducted into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame. He will receive his honor at the May 6 Hall of Fame Banquet at the Elks Lodge.
Fitzsimmons played guard on the undefeated 1949 Grove team coached by Bobby Jelks who is also a Hall of Fame Member.
Fitzsimmons will join fellow 1949 guard Billy Joe Adams in this years class of inductees. The 2003 induction class also includes another former Grove player, the late Max Williams.
Others being inducted are Henry County basketball standout Debbie Hays Doster and the late J.R. Latimer who coached at Puryear High School.
Coleman Crews will be presented the Distinguished Service Award from the Hall of Fame Committee. Crews is best known as a long-time volunteer in the summer baseball programs at Ogburn and McNeil Parks.
The guest speaker for the banquet will be former Grove High athlete Frank Cate of Santa Ana, California. Cate played baseball and basketball at Mississippi Junior Colege and Carson-Newman before beginning a successful business career as a computer programer.
Fitzsimmons grew up in Paris where he attended Lee and Atkins-Porter schools before going to high school at Grove. In addition to being a standout on the Grove Blue Devils football team, Fitzsimmons played basketball and baseball at Grove.
He served in the Army from 1951-1953 and served in the Tennessee National Guard for 38 years. After being hononably discharged from the Army, he attended the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Fitzsimmons worked factory jobs at Holley Carburetor Plant and Bowling Green Rubber Plant in the nid-1950s.
In 1957, he went to work at the post office in Paris and stayed with the postal service until retiring in 1989.
Outside of work, Fitzsimmons coached American Legion baseball with his former high school teammate Chick King, who is also is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame. Fitzsimmons has also coached Babe Ruth baseball.
Fitzsimmons and his wife, the former Allene Graham, have a daughter, Vickie Fitzhugh, and three grandchildren.
A daughter, Denise Fitzsimmons, died in infancy and a son, James Robert Fitzsimmons II, died in 2000.
From The Paris Post-Intelligencer
April 23, 2003 Edition
Used by Permission
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