In Memoriam

Michael S. Simon

1941 - 2021

Michael Stuart Simon passed away on the 13th of February, 2021 at the age of 79.

He was born to Bert and Ida Simon of Maplewood, New Jersey. Covid-19 hastened his demise, which may have been a blessing of sorts. He would have hated the incarceration that dementia and infirmity bring. Over the past few years, he had been declining both physically as well as mentally. His wife, Gale Stevenson Simon, was his primary caretaker. She took great care of him: doling out his medications, making sure that he had an abundant supply of his favorite foods (muffins and such) and keeping episodes of The Incredible Dr. Pol available for him on the television.

I think that Michael would want to be remembered as a skilled construction lawyer, and prolific author and teacher on the same subject. While a student of architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he was told that he would make a mediocre architect. Being condemned to average wasn’t an option. He enjoyed the best of things and wanted to be “The Best” at whatever he chose as a profession. He attended the University of Maryland and incorporated his interest in architecture with his new found career as a lawyer and carved out a niche for himself in a highly specified industry.

Even as his lucidity was waning, he maintained his legalese jargon. He always spoke in absolutes and wrote in only caps. Michael liked to command a room and be in charge. He loved being at the head of the table, working for himself, and thinking outside the box. He proudly enjoyed watching his boys engage in their athletic pursuits and attended countless kung fu tournaments, gymnastic exhibitions and lacrosse games. In his later years, he maintained an active role in supporting his sons’ growing artistic endeavors in music and tattoo arts respectively.

In his younger years, Michael enjoyed painting, scuba diving, underwater photography, racquetball, chopping wood, bike riding (20 plus miles daily) and swimming (in a way too small neon orange speedo across a mile long lake). He reveled in good food (the meat component he would smoke in a big green egg,) good drink (gin and tonic with a twist of lime) and a convivial fire in a stone hearth. While he didn’t connect to many people, those with which he did appreciated his dry sense of humor as well as his good-hearted nature. He cherished, valued and kept the friends he had.

He is survived by his wife Gale, his sons Brett and Noah, and his two daughters from a previous marriage, Ilyse Simon and Arlyn Nathan. He was also the proud grandfather of five grandchildren: Calev and Bashert Rabe Simon, as well as Aviva, Asher and Arielle Nathan. He will be remembered fondly.

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