John "Jack" Simkulet
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John, 81, died at home January 12, 2013, after a long battle with cancer. Born on November 24, 1931, in Skaneateles Falls, NY, one of four sons born to William and Mary (Krisco) Simkulet. He started to school at age 4, graduating from Elbridge HS NY at age 16. Enlisting in the Army/Air Force on his 17th birthday, he served 28 years as a weather forecaster, retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant.
He was joined in marriage to A1C Frances R. Roberts, USAF, on November 15, 1953, at Stewart AFB, Newburg, NY, by Chaplain Grandstaff. This union started a journey that spanned 59 years and 3 continents. Along the way a son, Kenneth David, was born at West Point Military Academy, NY; and a daughter, Karen Diane, born at Rhine-Main AFB, W. Germany.
John was part of the initial occupational forces in Japan following WWII; served in the Korean Conflict and the Viet Nam War. Stationed at Griffis AFB Rome NY; Rhine-Main AFB Frankfort W. Germany; Stewart AFB Newburgh NY; Yakota AFB near Tokyo, Japan; then Little Rock AFB Jacksonville, AR. Retiring in 1976 from the Air Force, John next took a position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) going to Bismarck ND for two winters. Spring came and a position in Springfield, MO, became available. This would become home. After 16 years with NOAA, John retired.
From tennis courts, to pachinko parlors, bowling, and sports - both watching and participating, Jack did everything with enthusiasm. Building decks, working on his home, spending time with his family were some of the many things he enjoyed. Jack had two special long time pleasures - keeping up with the NY Yankees baseball team, and his interest and collection of Japanese Antiques, becoming quite the expert in this field.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Paul and David.
Jack is survived by his brother, William (Bill) Simkulet; his wife, Frances (whom he called Junior); son, Ken Simkulet and friend Marye Boyd; daughter, Karen Smith and friend Michael Mans; niece, Shana and husband Don Bashaw; grandchildren, Jeremy Paul Smith, Alexander Rex Smith, Brie Anne Simkulet and friend Dave Engle, Jake Bashaw, Lizzy Bashaw, and Nikki Bashaw; and great-grandchildren, Kaylee Nichole Smith and Taylor James Smith.
Visitation will be from 5-7 PM, on Thursday, January 17, 2013, in Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. Graveside services will be at held at 1:00 PM, on Friday, January 18, in Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield.
Walnut Lawn Funeral Home
2001 W. Walnut Lawn St
Springfield, MO 65807
Published in the News-Leader from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17, 2013