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Columbia Missourian

Bernard Daniel Simon served in WWII, enjoyed serving Columbia

By Alyssa Schueneman
September 29, 2012 | 7:21 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Bernard Daniel "B.D." Simon, Jr. of Columbia died Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. He was 96. 

Mr. Simon was born on July 10, 1916, in Columbia to Bernard Daniel and Edith Rebecca (Hulett) Simon. Mr. Simon graduated from Sacred Heart Grade School, Hickman High School and received a bachelor's degree in science in Civil Engineering from MU in 1937. He married Joan Frances Johnson in 1940 before moving to the Panama Canal Zone to work as an engineer.

After that, Mr. Simon worked as an engineer in St. Louis until Pearl Harbor. He served in the Army with Battery A of the 222nd field artillery in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945. He became a major in the Army and was awarded a Bronze Star. 

Following Word War II, Mr. Simon returned to Columbia where he joined his father at B.D. Simon Construction Company. He was chief executive of the company until retirement at the age of 73 in 1991. 

Mr. Simon enjoyed serving the community and had positions on numerous community boards and committees. He spent time as chairman of the Columbia Redevelopment Authority, chairman of the Board of Columbia College, president of the Columbia Rotary Club and served as a member of the Columbia Public Housing Authority, the Columbia Industrial Development Commission and the advisory board for the MU College of Engineering. He also has won several awards and has been acknowledged by the Chamber of Commerce as Employer of the Year.

Mr. Simon's wife Joan, and their son J. Stephen Simon died earlier, in 2008 and 2009 respectively. He is survived by two sons, B. Daniel Simon and his wife Leah Beth, of Columbia, and their four children Stephanie, Michael, Scott, and Leah, Michael J. Simon and his wife Anita, of Winter Haven, Fla., and their two children Ross and Catherine; a daughter Joan Sheryl Schlendorf, of Mt. Lebanon, Penn., and her four children Andrew, Peter, David, and Kelly; a daughter-in-law, Steve's wife, Susan Simon, of Dallas, Texas, and their three daughters Marnie, Angela, and Candice; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 903 Bernadette Drive, with services to follow. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the MU College of Engineering Department of Civil Engineering General Scholarship Fund, W. 1006 Lafferre Hall or the Columbia College General Scholarship Fund, Office of Development, Columbia College, 1001 Rogers St. Gifts can also be sent in care of Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.

Tributes can be left online at