James Simmen

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James Mortimer Simmen, 91, of Lake Forest, Ill., formerly of Gurnee, Ill., died May 4, 2019, with family by his side.

He was born Aug. 24, 1927, in Jersey City, N.J., to George and Maree (Rankin) Simmen. He served as a sargeant in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1952, and was stationed in occupied Japan. He studied mechanical and electrical engineering at Cornell University, received his Bachelor of Arts from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and did graduate work under Mies van der Rohe at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jim was the husband of Marjorie (Swansen) Simmen, whom he married in 2013. Previously, he was married to Betty (Freeman) Simmen for 58 years until her passing in 2009. Loving father of Robin Simmen (Michael Conway), Sheryl Simmen (Dan Ryan), Kimberly (Chris) Wolf, Russell (Susan) Swansen, and Eric (Shelley) Swansen; grandfather of Alexandra (Dan) Leuenberger, Austin, Morgan (Erik) Shannon, Sheridan, Maggie, and Russell; and great-grandfather of Theodor.

He was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law, Michael.

Jim founded Photo Image Company, the first photo-typesetting firm in Chicago, in 1962. He was an avid woodworker and craftsman, a talented musician and chef, and an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest on Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at 700 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, Ill. Sign the guestbook at chicagotribune.com/obituaries.

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