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FAMU student Courtney Simms dies

Meningitis is the suspected cause of death

Staff Editor

Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 13:09

Courtney Simms

Special to the Famuan

Courtney Simms, a journalism student died Monday evening. She was expected to graduate this Fall.

courtney simms2

Special to the Famuan

Since 2007, Courtney Simms was a spokesperson for Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Florida A & M University student and spokesperson for Fashion Fair Cosmetics was pronounced dead Monday evening at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, according to James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Courtney Simms, 22, a Gary, Indiana, native, was taken to the hospital Monday night by her boyfriend, according to Hawkins.

"This is such a great loss," said Hawkins, who learned the news from Dorothy Bland, director of the division of journalism.

"I drove to the hospital and it was confirmed by a nurse that Courtney did in fact die," he said.

Meningitis is the suspected cause of death, Hawkins said.

"It breaks the heart of everyone here at the school...she was extremely active," he added.

Simms was a former anchor of FAMU-TV 20 and served as the spokesperson for Fashion Fair Cosmetics in 2007. She also was a member of the Presidential Ambassadors and FAMU Images Modeling Troupe. This summer, Simms was an intern at WTXL-27 in Tallahassee.

"WTXL wanted to hire her right after her internship," Hawkins said. "She did raving good work."

Professor Kenneth Jones, who advised Simms during her tenure at FAMU, said the broadcast journalism student was dynamic.

"She helped us establish our first newscast [on FAMU-TV 20]," Jones said. "She also called Obama [as winner] during our special election show…she was cool as a cucumber."

Simms expected to graduate this Fall, according to Jones.

Plans for a memorial service are pending, according to Hawkins.

"We want to reach out to the family before we confirm any plans," he said.

Check back with for updates on this breaking story.

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Tue Apr 6 2010 12:58
i am brittany johnson courtney cousin from alabama she had just came to birmmingham and she was fine it was so sad to hear she had died we grew up together summer times growing up playn making dances to jlo videos going skating just having fun courtney was truly an angel to me and everybody i miss her smile the most she is a beautiful gurl and i will trully miss her but she always will be in my heart.
Fellow Rattler
Thu Dec 24 2009 22:46
she will be missed dearly by many on the campus of famu. i didnt personally know her but i knew she did great things and was destined for in peace Miss Simms.
RL Bond
Sun Oct 25 2009 10:10
I only new her from Jet Ebony calendar we shot in Cancun, Mexico. She always had a bright smile.

RL Bond

Your name
Wed Sep 23 2009 23:56
I wish to extend my sympathy to the family of Courtney Simms. She was a student in my sixth grade math class at Tolleston Middle School in Gary, Indiana where she was extremely active, even then. She was a dedicated member of our yearbook staff and voted most likely to succeed in eighth grade. I will never forget her smile and her pleasant personality. She was kind to everyone and loved by all and She will be missed. May God bless her family and give you all the peace and strength you will need to bear this burden.
With love, Mrs. Evelyn Thomas, Gary Indiana
Anthony McRae
Tue Sep 22 2009 20:35
Courtney was such a special person and it must be so difficult to come to terms with the fact she died so suddenly. Courtney was such a sweet cousin and I will truely miss her. I love Courtney !!
cousin-Donna Lynn Bufford
Fri Sep 18 2009 12:23
Courtney Courtney Courtney
Courtney IS missed wholeheartedly. Courtney was/is my baby cousin. Courtney was just here in Alabama a month ago for our uncle Alf's funeral. A lot of us had not seen one another since her mothers funeral. It was such a joy to be around my family and especially Courtney. (smiling) Courtney was being herself bouncing from one family member to the next just chattering away. It was like she was interviewing us LOL. She would have been the best journalist ever.Courtney Simms was ready for the world, but the world was not ready for Courtney Simms. Our Heavenly Father has greater plans for Courtney. For OUR Courtney. The brightest STAR to ever shine.
Please pray for my family and especially for her little sister Asheley and niece Ashlynn.
Thank you and Be Blessed........
Donna Lynn Bufford
Eric Bufford
Donyae Bufford
Kristofer Bufford-Foster
Ratasha Williams
Wed Sep 16 2009 21:48
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Simms family. May God be with you at all times.
Lyndsie Kincaid
Wed Sep 16 2009 10:02
Courtney Simms was a cousin that I never got a chance to personally know. But even in that case I will miss her dearly. Though life cannot be lived regrating the decisions we make. I will always regrate not getting the chance to be close to her and getting to know her.
R.I.P. Courtney, Love your cousin Lyndsie. We all miss you very much
Tue Sep 15 2009 23:31
Those of us at WTXL remember you and miss you. Our thoughts are with your family and friends.
Renee Henderson
Tue Sep 15 2009 20:41
To our family God is good and the word declares that surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life. The thief comes to kill, to still and to destry but Jesus says I am come that ye may have life more abundantly. I am the good shepherd and he lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11) We love you.
Markashia Jeter
Tue Sep 15 2009 16:36
God makes no mistakes. I love you Courtney and thank you for all your help. My dear friend I've always admired is now watching me.
Tue Sep 15 2009 13:09
God has taken another one of his Angels back.
Although I did not know her personally, I have heard of her and it's been all GREAT things.
My heart and prayers go out to the family and close friends. Just know that God does everything for a reason.
Mr. Davis
Tue Sep 15 2009 11:27
We will miss you Courtney............!!!!!

--- Your Purdue University Calumet Upward Bound Fan Club!!!!

Benjamin Connell
Tue Sep 15 2009 10:49
Its heartbreaking how you can speak to someone one day and a couple days later theyre gone. Courtney was a dear friend and a special person and spirit she will be greatly missed by all of us who new her personally. There were so many great things in store for her future, but God needed her more than we did. RIP Courtney
Reginald Knight
Tue Sep 15 2009 10:49
W e love you and will miss you forever ! our family will never be the same. I will always remember your beautiful smile.Smile on me little sister!!
O. S. Lamar
Tue Sep 15 2009 09:58
Have mercy upon us all, O God, through your precious Son, Jesus Christ--the anointed One in His anointing! For Courtney's demise is but a warning to us all--be ye also ready.... Yet, we rejoice, again, in the Lord, I say rejoice, and in every thing, give thanks, for this is the will of GOD, concerning us in Christ JESUS. --Selah--

What legacy will we leave to illuminate our individual dash (-) here in the earth realm? Sovereign God, please don't let us be caught with our work undone, and without us being yielded to Your infallible Word, Your divine Will, and Your predestined Way for our lives. Until we meet again Courtney, for after death, the judgment... God, please keep us steadfast in the palm of Your almighty hand. --Selah--

"The Lord Gave, and the Lord Hath Taken Away..."

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." -- Job 1: 20-21 (KJV)

Have mercy upon us all, O God, through your precious Son, Jesus Christ--the anointed One in His anointing! Amen

Nicolette Stewart
Tue Sep 15 2009 09:54
This girl was so beautiful, sweet, humble and smart. I'm sad that her life has to end so early. Cherish life each minute!
Joshua Wordlaw
Tue Sep 15 2009 09:34
We here at WTXL will miss you Courtney, your smile and cheerful attitude always made walking past production a joy during your internship here.
Fellow Rattler
Tue Sep 15 2009 09:32
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal,I pray all affected by this great loss find comfort and peace in this time of bereavement...
Christina R.
Tue Sep 15 2009 09:27
Peace be unto the Simms and FAMU family during this time of loss. Be encouraged by Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

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