SIMON, John C. 'Carl'
October 1, 1925 - May 8, 2014
Carl Simon gracefully passed from this physical form on earth into his next adventure after a valiant struggle with lung cancer. Carl was born the only child of Hungarian & Italian immigrants in Calumet, MI. His father worked in the copper mines in the upper peninsula and moved his family to Detroit for a better life when Carl was in middle school. After graduating from high school Carl joined the Marine Corps. He was eighteen years old when he fought at the bloody battle of Iwo Jima, where he was wounded and earned the Purple Heart. He rarely spoke of this time in his life, and only when hard pressed for details. While Carl was in the military he began writing to the lovely Donna Smither, a pretty gal who was a few grades behind him in school. He always said that he thought that she was 'out of his league,' but she gave him a chance. They married in 1946 and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Donna and Carl had three children. Dave Simon, who was deceased in 2009, (Sheryl), Gary Simon (Dorothy), and Mary Lou Battagin (Jim). They have six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. One of his great-grandchildren, Trever Ahing, is now a Marine following in his great-grandfather's footsteps. Of this fact, Carl was very proud. Carl and Donna moved to Sacramento in 1956 where Carl worked as a mail carrier for 35 years. On his route, which he walked for over 20 years in south Sacramento, he was called Johnny. Carl fortunately enjoyed a wonderfully long retirement which he filled with family, golf, long walks, bike rides, and winters in Yuma, AZ with Donna, friends and family.
In his final years Carl's spirit never wavered as he drove himself back and forth to chemotherapy, cared for his beloved, yet ailing wife, Donna, shopped, cooked, gardened, and rode his bike five miles daily up until his last three weeks alive. Less than three weeks before he passed he played golf with his son Gary and son-in-law Jim. He was an inspiration and a role model to all who watched him persevere without complaining. He was an exceptional man, husband, father, and grandfather, and will be forever missed by those he left behind. Carl used to say to us, 'Oh, what the hell, you can't live forever'... but he was tough and gave it one helluva good try. Donna Simon is now being cared for by family and hospice as apparently she can't live without him either. Private family services.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on June 8, 2014