James Sims Christopher Polk (Simmy)

October 12, 1930 - August 31, 2023

Simmy was born on Oct 12, 1930, in Beaumont Texas.

He and his two brothers, Roland and Tommy, were close in age and were the terror of the neighborhood. There were cousins who joined in on the “fun”, and fun they had… They rode their bikes down to St. Anne’s church and brought their fishing poles, caught all the gold fish in the pond, and brought them home on a string. Mamou made a large contribution to St. Anne’s church for that one. Sneaking out of the second story of the house and again, down the road to seek out cousins and adventures were a given. When the boys were home from St Edwards High School in Austin, TX, Beaumont knew they were back when the Calder street lights would be shot out by some boys having some fun. Mamou would get a call and bill for the replacements; Grandfather Broussard may have had to intervene as well! A story was told of some boys that borrowed a firetruck and picked up friends and I guess created their own parade. Yes, our grandparents and great grandparents got them out of this one too.

The summer Simmy graduated, their mother sent he and Roland on a cross country trip to New Mexico to work on their Uncle Roland’s ranch. They also went to visit their sister, Joanne who was at a convent in Utah. Their sister was horrified and prayed every night for them to leave. They stayed a week and were the most entertaining for the nuns we are sure!

Simmy joined the United States Airforce during the Korean war. He was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Sheppard AirForce Base in Wichita Falls, TX. He was a medic during this time, taking care of wounded soldiers, and learned how to make prosthesis for those soldiers in need. When Simmy came back from the US Air Force he finished college with a business degree from Lamar College of Technology here in Beaumont.

Simmy married in his early 20’s and had seven children within thirteen years, losing one as an infant. From 1965 through 1984, Simmy had several marriages and one more child. In 1984, Simmy would meet and fall in love with Nettie Lee and be happily married until his death. Simmy’s marriage added five more children. Simmy had a positive influence on all the children in his marriages and they all loved him as their father and he kept up with them through the years.

Growing up, summers were spent with the Broussard and Polk families down at the beach. Simmy would continue this tradition with his family. At Caplen and later Crystal Beach there were close friends and families, so what else could happen but fireworks, bonfires, setting fields on fire… you get the picture. Fishing in East Bay, the Boneyard, the Fort, and the Galveston Jetties were favorite spots for him. Anyone who went out with Simmy knew to hold on for dear life, there was one gear for him, high speed! Many fun days on the water with his children were had and he definitely put a dent in the number of reds, flounder, and speckled trout. Simmy was a proud member of the CCA and hosted the Texas Louisiana Bistate Fishing Rodeo for many years. Duck hunting was another sport he loved and from early years with Grandfather Broussard he hunted and had a love for Labelle Ranch like none other. He brought his children and grandchildren down there to learn to drive, to see the land, and grow a love that he had for this area. His original duck camp had a posted sign… no women allowed, but I know a couple of daughters that were snuck in. He along with friends and his sons would try and decrease the population in ducks annually, our yard would have ducks and feathers everywhere! In his last days he was asking about if any teal and dove had been spotted yet. Simmy was a proud member of Ducks Unlimited.

During his adolescent years Simmy went to Camp Stewart in Hunt, TX which started his love of the hill country. In 1980, Simmy embarked on his grandest adventure and accomplishment, “Ain’t This Fun Ranch”. He spent the last 40 years enjoying hunting deer, sitting around the campfire, spending time with his family and friends, and working on his land. If you were at the ranch, he would allow some fun, but he would have a work schedule for everyone, both young and old. If there was cedar cutting going on, he would have the grands picking it up and putting it in the trailer. He was a firm believer in working hard, playing hard, and eating BBQ. He loved to grill and smoke meats for everyone. After a hard days work we would sit around the campfire and he would say “Ain’t this Fun”?

Simmy had a life-threatening airboat accident where he tightened a tourniquet using his belt around his arm, walked himself out of the marsh several miles, drove to the Pine Tree Lodge for help, and lost his left hand. Lee helped him through his recovery. As Simmy recovered from this accident, he told us “You have to make do with what you’ve got”.  His children have always remembered this. A year later Simmy would lose his oldest son, Simbo from smoke inhalation in a house fire. This was a very hard time for him, but he had Lee to help him through it.

Some years later, his blended family grew yet again. Tragically, Simbo’s wife would pass and leave behind 4 children, one son being Simbo’s only child and three sisters from another marriage. Simmy and Lee decided to raise all four children, the youngest being three years old and Simmy was sixty-five years old at this point. Again, his life would change drastically over the next twenty years and raising these children. Not many sixty-five year olds would take on this challenge, but Simmy and Lee didn’t hesitate.

Education was extremely important to Simmy and with this thought in mind, he set up education funds for the all the grandchildren. He wanted them to have the opportunity for a better life. Simmy was all about hard work, whether it was working with your hands or in the classroom. Do your best with whatever it is your doing.

Entering another stage in his life, his health began slowing him down a bit. He was one of the healthiest persons until his mid eighty’s when he was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate and underwent radiation therapy, had a hip replacement, and was diagnosed with a very slow growing multiple myeloma. In the last year, Simmy’s health declined severely. He persevered courageously, especially in the past few months, but ultimately making the decision to go to Harbor Hospice. The Veterans of Southeast Texas honored him and gave Simmy a pin as an Honored Veteran. This is truly one of the highlights of his life and would be the last smile and grin he gave. Simmy was able to say “goodbye, go home, and continue living life” to us all.  Simmy was ready for the next season in his life, to go home with Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  On August 31, 2023, Simmy passed away very peacefully and will be remembered as a loving husband, Dad, Grandad, and friend by all.

He is survived by his loving wife, Nettie Leona Rogers Polk; children, Tasca Leigh Ruth Polk Marceaux and husband, Louis; Thomas Perkins Polk and wife, Lisa; Christopher Paul Polk; Elizabeth Anne Polk Smith and husband, Roger; Jerry Dan Polk; Pamela Colleen Polk Baker; extended family, Kenneth Pettit, Janice Pettit, Barbara Young, Mary Jackson, Raymond Pettit; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Joanne Marie Polk; four brothers, Iredell Drew Polk, Jr., Joseph Eloi Polk, Robert Roland Polk, and Thomas Edward Polk; daughter, Mary Ellen Sims Polk; and son, James Sims (Simbo) Polk, Jr.

A gathering of Mr. Polk’s family and friends will begin at 1:00 p.m, with his funeral service will full military honors at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His cremation arrangements will be handled through Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions can be made to the PTSD Foundation of America (Camp Hope), 9724 Derrington Road, Houston, Texas 77064.


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary Major Dr.
  • 1605, North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas, 77713,
  • September 6, 2023
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Funeral Service

Broussard’s Mortuary Major Dr.
  • 1605, North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas, 77713,
  • September 6, 2023
  • 2:00 pm

Comments (9)

    Kirk Droddy says:

    Condolences to the Polk family.
    Dad had many stories of times with him back in the day.

    Scott Droddy says:

    Simmy was one of a kind. I enjoyed doing business with him over the years. He and my Dad (Jack) were friends for many years. Prayers for the family during this time.

    W.J. Singleton III says:

    Big hugs to the Polk family, Simmy was one of a kind.

    sharon harvey says:

    So sorry to hear about Simmy. We enjoyed being beach neighbors of Simmy and Lee for many years.
    Our prayers are with the Polk family.
    Donnie and Sharon Harvey

    Cindy miles says:

    My condolences to Tassie and all the Polkfamily. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Ruthie says:

    Uncle Simmy was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. He, like the other Polk boys, provided a solid anchor for his large family. What a clan!! I miss every one of them ♥️🙏

    Cardell DeLeon says:

    Mr and Mrs Polk were my next door neighbors at the beach for 20 years. Matter of fact he still has the key to my cabin I gave him after hurricane Ike so he could come down and fish with his buddies. Mrs. Polk I’m very sorry for you and your families loss I know it hurts , try to stay strong and God Bless You.. Love Cardell

    Rita Wilcox says:

    Uncle Simmy will be greatly missed by all of his nieces and nephews. LaBelle will never be quite the same, although I know his spirit will be watching us enjoy the beauty of nature and all the wildlife there. He is the last of the generation of Polk boys, who all left their mark on this earth with a passion for the outdoors.

    Paul and Linda Suddath says:

    Lee, our heartfelt sympathy to you and the family on your loss of “Simmy”… there was only 1…and he was a character….treasure all the memories and good times…

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