Julian Simms – 104 Years Old and Going Strong!

Before COVID-19 was in full swing, I had the honor of meeting a remarkable Marietta resident, Julian Simms, who turned 104 years young on March 18.  I want to wish Mr. Simms a belated “Happy Birthday” and share some wisdom that he let me in on.

Julian Simms sharing his story with Sally Litchfield

Born to Elizabeth (Gaither) and Will Simms in Lebanon, TN in 1916, Simms learned that attitude is everything. “Having a good attitude might have helped get me to 104. I wish you and everybody else could have a happy life like I have. I had a wonderful life,” Simms said.

A smile says it all. “I know one thing. Whenever you deal with a person, deal with them with a smile. That starts everything out on the right foot,” Simms said.

Julian in his marine uniform, 1945

Simms worked at Lockheed for 30 years as a mechanic, first on the West Coast and later in Marietta.

“Every job I had I loved,” said Simms who was married Louise Arrington. Simms and Louise had one son together, Bill. He has two granddaughters and two great-grandsons.

Great grandson Cameron Alvis, his mother (granddaughter) Cathryn Alvis, son Bill Simms and great grandson Carter Alvis with birthday guy, Julian Simms.

After Louise died at age 48, Simms met his second wife, Emma Worley, and they were married 39 years before she died about ten years ago.

When asked the secret to his long life, Simms answered, “I have been asked that by a lot of people. I tell them hard work won’t kill you. It just makes you tired.”

“Really, I just keep breathing. I must have good genes. I had a half-uncle lived to be over 100,” Simms said.

Simms traveled all over the world. “I’ve been to over 40 countries. I’ve been to Africa, Australia, New Zealand. I’ve even gone to Alaska 4 times. I have pictures of everywhere I’ve ever been. If I get lonesome, I push a button on my computer, and I can be in Africa. I can be in Hawaii or Alaska,” he said.

Julian at Sheepshead Bay, Merchant Marine Base, NY, 1945

Simms’ view of life is positive. “I really never had too many challenges. But I always could make a decision like when I left and went to CA to work. I figured it was common sense to do what I did. I wasn’t afraid of change. Never have been,” he said.

Simms enjoyed woodworking as a hobby. “I built all the airplanes I ever worked on. They’re all scale models. I had them hung from my ceiling,” Simms said.

Simms said it is not for him to guess how many more years he has. “I’m kind of like the song, ‘One Day at a Time.’ That’s the prettiest song I’ve ever heard. I guess that’s how I have based my life, One Day at a Time.”

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2 thoughts on “Julian Simms – 104 Years Old and Going Strong!”

  1. Sally, I just read the article on my dad, It was good and to the point of his reasons of longevity. He is not on-line at Heritage but I will run him a copy of the article and let him see it. Thanks a lot and I’m sorry I did not respond to the picture request. Really, I was trying to decide what to do about the pics but your presentation was good and I am pleased. Bill Simms

    1. Sally Litchfield

      Thank you, Bill! Julian is remarkable. I hope he is doing well. Thank you for sharing.

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