Bernard Daniel Simon, Jr., better known as B.D. Simon, passed away peacefully at his long-time Columbia home, on September 26, 2012, at the age of 96.
Funeral services will be at 10 A.M. on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with a visitation to be had at the church from 9 A.M. until the service.
B.D. was born to Edith Rebecca (Hulett) Simon and Bernard Daniel Simon on July 10, 1916 at Boone County Hospital. He graduated from Sacred Heart Grade School and Hickman High School, and went on to receive a B.S. in Civil Engineering from MU in 1937. He was a starting guard (both ways, offense and defense) for Don Faurot’s 1935, 1936 and 1937 MU football teams.
While attending MU, B.D. met the love of his life, Joan Frances Johnson of Mt. Vernon, Mo, also an MU graduate. B.D. and Joan married in 1940, and, almost immediately, moved to the Panama Canal Zone, where B.D. was employed as an engineer. B.D. also worked in St. Louis as an engineer until Pearl Harbor. B.D. served in the U.S. Army, serving in the Pacific Theater with Battery A of the 222nd field artillery, from 1941 to 1945. He rose to the rank of Major, and was awarded the Bronze Star for training a Philippine guerilla anti-aircraft battalion.
B.D. returned to Columbia from his WWII service to join his father, Bernard Daniel “Bern” Simon in the construction business. B.D. Simon Construction Company became one of the largest construction companies in Central Missouri. B.D. and his father were later joined in the business by B.D.’s brother, William H. Simon. B.D. was CEO of the company until he retired in 1991 at the age of 73. The company built many major facilities including the MU Research Reactor and many buildings on the MU Campus; and many private projects, including the First Baptist Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and School and the Columbia Daily Tribune buildings.
B.D. had an intense desire to serve his beloved community, Columbia. He served in a variety of positions on numerous community boards and committees including the Columbia Redevelopment Authority (of which he was chairman for 4 years), the Columbia Public Housing Authority, the Columbia Industrial Development Commission, the Board of Columbia College, (from which he retired as chairman) and as president of the Columbia Rotary Club. He was named Employer of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.
B.D. always retained a deep sense of love, loyalty, and gratitude for his alma mater, MU. He worked tirelessly for the College of Engineering, serving on its advisory board for 5 years. He received a number of awards for his service, including the Knights of St. Patrick (an Engineering School honor award) in 1972, a Citation of Merit in Engineering, and the MU Distinguished Service Award, which he received in 1985 for his service to MU and his community.
B.D. was, however, first and foremost, a family man. He and Joan, his beloved wife of over 68 years, had four children to whom they were deeply devoted, and of whom they were deeply proud. Joan died in 2008. One son, J. Stephen Simon, a top Exxon Mobil executive and board member, died in 2009. B.D. is survived by his daughter-in-law, Steve’s wife, Susan, of Dallas, Texas, and their three daughters, Marnie, Angela, and Candice; a son, B. Daniel Simon and his wife, Leah Beth, of Columbia, and, and their four children, Stephanie, Michael, Scott, and Leah; a daughter, Joan Sheryl Schlendorf of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and her four children, David, Kelly, Andrew and Peter; and a son, Dr. Michel J. Simon, of Winter Haven, Florida, and his wife, Anita, and their two children, Ross and Catherine. All told, B.D. leaves, him surviving, 3 children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts, in B.D.’s honor, should be made to the MU College of Engineering Dept. of Civil Engineering, General Scholarship Fund, W 1006 Lafferre Hall, Columbia, Mo. 65201-9904, or Columbia College General Scholarship Fund, Office of Development, Columbia College, 1001 Rogers St., Columbia, Mo 65216. Such gifts can also be sent in care of Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70, Columbia, Mo. 65202.
Arrangements are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home.
Tributes can be left online at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.