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Mourning the Loss of Jerry Simms

Jan 18, 2020

DSC_0301-smIt is with much sadness and grief that I share with you that former ISRI Chair Jerry Simms passed away last Friday morning. As many of you know, Jerry had been suffering from Parkinson's disease, and unfortunately his health deteriorated significantly over the last month. According to Terry, his wife, Jerry is in a better place now, out of pain, but missed by so many.

Jerry was a great friend and colleague to many of us, chairing ISRI from 2012 to 2014. It was during his tenure as Chair that ISRI reinvigorated our state program, expanded ISRI's resources to fight metals theft, successfully prevented EPA from going down the path of regulating scrap as hazardous waste, and obtained EPA's authorization to recycle plastics from shredder fluff. 

Jerry received ISRI's Lifetime Achievement award last year for his decades of dedication and leadership within the industry. It was Jerry who inspired and led ISRI's efforts to reform Superfund that resulted in passage of the Superfund Recycling Equity Act (SREA) in 1999. His letter to the ISRI leadership in the early 90s, calling for the rallying of ISRI members at the grassroots level and the leveraging of their political power to effect change that spurred ISRI's efforts on this critical issue. And along with the leadership of Mark Reiter, who we also tragically lost this past week, Jerry helped mobilize the industry and build the political structure that remains today at ISRI. According to Jerry, "when working in concert, ISRI and our members can achieve any successes we need in the battles that confront us, be they legislative, regulatory, or public perception."

I can't think of any stronger advocate for ISRI and the recycling industry than Jerry. He showed us the power one person can have, bringing together an entire industry to fight for a cause. His dedication to ISRI and recycling was endless. Most importantly, Jerry was an incredibly special person who I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to work so closely with and become friends with. He will be missed by so many within and outside ISRI and the recycling industry.

A tribute page has been set up on ISRI's website for members to leave messages and memories.

In lieu of flowers, people can honor and remember Jerry through donations to either the Michael J Fox Foundation or the Colorado-based Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's.

Thank you,


  1. 10 Pat Boyle 21 Jan
    Jerry was truly one of the "good guys" in the scrap metal business. He was a pleasure to deal with at all times.
    We will miss, Jerry!
  2. 9 Douglas Kramer 21 Jan
    Jerry was my colleague, my mentor and, most important, my friend.  I will miss him.  
    .שלום ידיד... יהי שמך ברכה  
  3. 8 Bret Robinson 21 Jan
    Jerry was a great person to work with and allowed me to serve under his leadership.  It was truly an honor to know and work with him as a friend and colleague!  He will be missed!!

  4. 7 Judy Porta 21 Jan
    So enjoyed doing business with Jerry over the years.  Considered him one of the best guys in the industry and a good friend.  Condolences to his wife Terry and his girls.  Will miss you Jerry!
  5. 6 paul brenner 21 Jan
    I am so sorry to hear about Jerry's passing.  He was a gentleman's gentleman and a good friend.  We always had great conversations both in person and on the phone.  To the Simms family...stay strong and know that Jerry will be watching over you.  Goodbye my friend
    Paul Brenner
  6. 5 Peter Kramer 21 Jan
    In an industry of unique individuals, Jerry was the most unique of all for all the best reasons. There are people in everyones lives that we just don't get to see enough of. Jerry, and Terry, are two such people for me. It's a sad day. May his memory be a blessing.
  7. 4 Bruce Blue 21 Jan
    Jerry was truly a gentleman.  He was always fair, honest, and a special person.
    He always wanted everyone’s opinion before making a decision.  He is what you call a true friend, and he was always a true friend to Phyllis and me. I cannot put into words how much I will miss him and his friendship.
  8. 3 Lynne Shine 22 Jan
    Jerry “had me at hello!” He was engaging and warm. Kind and interested. Obvious he loved his family most and was so loved and cared for! He has quite a legacy and will be missed. 
  9. 2 Barry Fleet 22 Jan
    Jerry was one the first guys from the Rocky Mountain Chapter to go to the top of Isri.  He was most helpful to all .  A real gentleman gone to soon!
  10. 1 Stephen Moss 23 Jan
    It was a great honor to worth with Jerry and Terry on two wonderful conventions.  Jerry gave his all as ISRI Chair and in his other work for ISRI.  I feel so lucky to have considered him a friend and mentor.  May all his great work serve as an example for us and may his memory be a blessing. 


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