Anthony (Tony) Paul Simkus, Sr.
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Anthony (Tony) Paul Simkus, Sr. was born in Chicago on September 20, 1931, the son of Stanley and Vera Simkus. His family included two brothers, Stan and Bill, and one sister, Bernice.
Mr. Simkus began his education at Iowa State Teachers College in 1949, and later completed his undergraduate college education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his Masters in Operations Research at Tulane University in New Orleans. His education was delayed first by time spent playing under Coach George Halas for the Chicago Bears, and then by his enlistment into the U.S. Army in March 1951. After completing basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri, Mr. Simkus graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He served in the front lines in Korea with the 40th and 45th Divisions of the 8th Army, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for combat action, and in two tours in Vietnam, one with the 5th Special Forces Group. Mr. Simkus was awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, three Army Commendation Medals, two Unit Citation Awards, and the Joint Services Commendation Medal.
Mr. Simkus met his wife, Margaret Brunson, while visiting Meredith College in Raleigh from his posting at Fort Bragg, and they soon married in March 1956. Mr. Simkus leaves in loving memory his wife, two children – Meg and Tony, seven grandchildren – Erin, Dena, Tyler, Ella, Anna, Alex, and Tony, and one great grandchild – Della.
Having honorably served the U.S. Army for 30 years, with a final posting as the Commander of the Army Research Office in Research Triangle Park, Mr. Simkus retired in 1980. He immediately began a new career as a broker for Dean Witter, achieving the office of vice-president before retiring from that company. Mr. Simkus then continued his pursuit of excellence as an Operations Research consultant.
Mr. Simkus died quietly at his home at 5pm on 11 April 2014, surrounded by his loving family, in sure and certain knowledge of his journey to Heaven. His graveside service will be a private family gathering at Raleigh Memorial Park the morning of Wednesday 16 April 2014, followed by a memorial service and reception at Highland UMC on Ridge Road at 2pm.
The family requests that any gifts or donations be made in Mr. Simkus memory to Parkinson's Research or to Highland United Methodist Church on Ridge Road.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through www.mitchellatrmp.com
Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 14, 2014