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Willis E. "Bill" Simon, age 82, of 501 High St., Johnsonburg, died suddenly Monday, Jan. 10, 2011 following a lengthy illness.
He was born Dec. 16, 1928, in Johnsonburg, son of Russell and Helen Myers Simon. On Aug. 7, 1948, he married Lucy Paladino in Holy Rosary Church, Johnsonburg; she survives.
A 1946 Johnsonburg Area High School graduate, he received a degree in instrumentation from the International Correspondence School.
A member of the Holy Rosary Church, he had served as a lector, CCD instructor and was a member of the senior choir. He was also a member of the Holy Name Society and the Christian Men's Fellowship. He had taught Bible studies to the inmates at the federal prison in McKean County for many years.
He was involved in many civic organizations, including the Johnsonburg Chamber of Commerce, Johnsonburg Area Development Organization, president of the Johnsonburg Area Health Center Advisory Board, the Johnsonburg Welfare Chest, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, and many more. He especially loved Rotary International. He was a three-time Paul Harris Fellow and had 48 years of perfect attendance, and was the chairman of the annual Rotary Multi-phasic Blood Analysis Program for many years. He was also a member of the Cursillo Movement. For 39 years, he had portrayed Santa Claus at many functions throughout Elk County. He was a sought-after public speaker, speaking at events and functions throughout the country.
He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II overseas with the 4005th ASU.
He was employed by Penntech Papers in Johnsonburg for 46 years before retiring in 1991.
Besides his wife at home, he is survived by one son, Bill Simon and his wife Cindy of Tonawanda, N.Y.; three daughters, Carol Walsh and her partner, Carolyn Follett of State College, Mary Lou, Mrs. Wayne "Skip" Fowler of Concord, N.C., and Janice, Mrs. Tom Carnovale of Johnsonburg; 10 grandchildren, Jenny, Mrs. Mike Miller, Amy Fowler, Beth Ann, Mrs. George Kripas, Keith Walsh and his wife Rebecca, Bill J. Simon, Andy Simon, Marcus Horton and his wife Morgan, and Joey, Dan and Jon Carnovale; three great-grandchildren, Ethan and Avery Miller, and Lucy Kripas; and two brothers, Russell Simon and his wife Nancy of Arcada, N.Y., and John Simon of Tennessee.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by four brothers, George, Jerry, Lester and Virgil Simon; and three sisters, Lynda, Lillian and Tobiana Simon.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Willis E. "Bill" Simon will be conducted at Holy Rosary Church, Johnsonburg, on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m., with the Rev. David J. Wilson, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Johnsonburg.
Friends will be received on Wednesday, Jan. 12 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Anthony F. Ferragine Funeral Home, 401 Chestnut St., Johnsonburg.
Military honors will be accorded by the Johnsonburg-Wilcox Servicemen's Detail. Detail members are asked to assemble at the funeral home on Thursday morning at 9:15 a.m.