PIERCE "PETE" F. SIMON
Pierce “Pete” Foster Simon, age 95, died Thursday, December 22, 2016 at home.
Born to Charles and Edna Simon in Wilmington, Delaware, Pete was one of four brothers (Charles, Paul, and Ralph, all deceased). He was predeceased by his love, and wife of 70 years Lola Simon. Pete is survived by two sons, Pierce Jr. (Mary Bohn);, and Jeffrey (Carol); three grandchildren, Jamie, Lelah, and Keith; and three great-grandchildren, Jeffrey, Ella, and Jack; brother-in-law Michael Pennington (Marguerite), niece Jennifer McLaughlin (Brian), great niece and nephew Abby and Colin, nephew Allen Pennington (Lindsay), great nephew and niece AJ and Mia, and niece Catherine Chase (Ryan).
Pete attended Harlan Elementary School in Wilmington before working for the Simon floral greenhouse business in the 1930s. In 1939 he enlisted in the Delaware National Guard and served in an anti-aircraft unit which saw action in World War Two for 44 months, beginning in Bora Bora and across the Solomon Island chain to the Philippines. Following the war, he began working with George and Lynch Road Contractors as a heavy equipment operator, where he continued his career until retiring in 1989.
A top notch heavy machinery operator and mechanic, Pete also designed and helped build two of the Little League Baseball Diamonds used by Naamans Little League in the early 1960s, and maintained the fields when his sons played there. He served as Head Grounds Keeper at Peninsula-McCabe Church; and was known to help when friends needed a hand during a house-raising. He was an avid deep sea fisherman, who went on countless excursions from Bowers Beach, Indian River, and Ocean City, where he once landed a marlin. At work, the construction company called on him often to solve mechanical problems with equipment. He was a favorite among the company laborers for his sense of humor and his abilities, especially when operating the crane. Some of the men working in a ditch would not go there with a crane bucket overhead, unless it was Pete operating the crane, which is the highest form of confidence anyone in that line of work can achieve.
An avid baseball fan, Pete would think nothing of working all day in the DelMarVa hot sun with hot equipment, sometimes drive home from downstate, shower and eat dinner, and drive his sons and friends to a ballgame at Connie Mack Stadium; just to return home late that night with the alarm set for 5:00 the next morning to start all over again. He was a hard-working, fun-loving man who leaves behind many friends and great memories.
A visitation will be held on Friday, December 30 at 10 am at the chapel at Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720 with services beginning at 11 am. Interment will take place in the adjoining cemetery.