Amherst Magazine

William P. Simons II ’42

William P. Simons II ’42 died Friday, July 23, 2010.
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WILLIAM P. SIMONS II ’42

             Bill Simons died in Scarborough, Maine, on July 23, 2010, after a lengthy illness.

            Bill grew up in Springfield and Longmeadow, Mass., and attended Groton School. He entered Amherst in 1938 and was a member of Alpha Delt. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy V-7 program in 1940 and was called to active duty in June 1941.

            Bill was commissioned an ensign and spent most of World War II in the Atlantic Theatre in anti-submarine warfare. Separated from active duty in 1946, he stayed in the reserve and ultimately retired as a lieutenant commander.

            Bill married Lorna Boothby of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in September 1943. They had two children—William P. Simons III and a daughter, Leslie.

            Bill tried the insurance business from 1946-49 but decided it was not for him. He then joined the Third National Bank in Springfield, Mass., and worked there for 35 years. He eventually became the head of the human resources division, responsible for planning, staffing and operating 21 branches.

            Bill was president of the Springfield Community Concert Association and a director of the Springfield Symphony. He also became a state-registered emergency medical technician with the Baystate Ambulance Company.

            Bill and Lorna retired to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in the mid-’80s. There they indulged their love of travel, specializing in Portugal and Italy.

            In 2006, they moved to Piper Shores, a nearby retirement community. Unfortunately, Bill’s health deteriorated rapidly. He had Parkinson’s disease, his eyesight failed and in early 2009, he had a stroke. A subsequent fall and pneumonia led to his death only a few weeks before their 67th anniversary.

            In a telephone conversation, Lorna said Bill never complained, but it was obvious he was in pain. It was strange not to have Bill near her, but she was glad he was no longer suffering.

—Ted Heisler ’42

 

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