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Wilbur Frank Simlik


1921 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Wilbur Frank Simlik Obituary
Simlik, Wilbur Frank, Major General USMC (Retired) 06/19/1921~ 02/12/2014 VISTA / CARLSBAD-- Major General Wilbur "Will" Simlik, USMC (Ret), passed away on February 12, 2014 in Fullerton, CA. Major General Simlik was born June 19, 1921 to Frank Simlik and Marie (Lind) Simlik in Youngstown, Ohio and graduated from South High School in 1939. He earned a BA degree from Muskingum College in 1943 and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago in 1948. He enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve on December 2, 1942 at Muskingum College and completed recruit training as a Private First Class at Paris Island, SC. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on October 6, 1943 upon graduation from the Officers Candidate School at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA. During World War II, as a member of the 4th Marine Division in the amphibious landing on Iwo Jima, Second Lieutenant Simlik served as Company Commander of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division and was awarded the Silver Star Medal. He was released from active duty in December 1945. He was recalled to active duty in January 1952 and met his future wife, Ethel Blomquist, at the railroad station in Youngstown, OH as he was boarding his train to report to Quantico, VA. Upon completing Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, VA and receiving orders to Korea, he proposed marriage to Ethel, which she accepted, but marriage was delayed until his return from Korea. During the Korea conflict, he served as a rifle company commander, as an infantry battalion operations officer and as a regimental operations officer with the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat "V." Upon his return to the US in July 1953, he served as Office-in- Charge, Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Portland, OR where he and Ethel were married on November 13, 1953. He subsequently served as Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and as Special Projects Officer, Analysis and Review Branch, Fiscal Division, Headquarters Marine Corps. He attended the Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA. He then served as Assistant G-3, Trainings and Operations, 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. In August 1964, he assumed duties as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy. After promotion to Colonel, he attended the Naval War College, Newport, RI. Following graduation, he served as Head, Enlisted Assignment Section, Assignment and Classification Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine Corps and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. In Vietnam, he served as Commanding Officer, 3rd Marine Regiment, as Deputy Chief of Staff, 3rd Marine Division, and as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, III Marine Amphibious Force and was awarded a second Legion of Merit with Combat "V." He was promoted to Brigadier General in July 1970 and served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters Marine Corps and subsequently as Deputy for Education/Director, Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, VA. He was promoted to Major General on May 7, 1974 and served as Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps until his retirement on November 15, 1975. He was awarded a gold star in lieu of a third award of the Legion of Merit. Upon retirement, he and Ethel moved to Vista, CA in 1976 and distinguished himself as a caring and compassionate humanitarian. He was a driving force for the support and success of the Boys & Girls Club of Vista and the Boys & Girls Club of Vista Foundation serving on both Boards of Directors for over 25 years. He endeared himself to the community and was a legend as "Vista's Macadamia Hill" farmer growing, harvesting and selling macadamia nuts at the Vista Farmers Market, all proceeds donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Vista. He proudly displayed his infamous business card "WILBUR F. SIMLIK, Quality Macadamia Nuts" and membership in the Macadamia Society. He was a devoted member of the Rotary Club of Vista, CA, a Paul Harris Fellow and a Lifetime Patron of Vista's Moonlight Cultural Foundation. In 1990, the Muskingum College Alumni Association bestowed on him its highest honor, the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Ethel passed away on January 27, 2000. On December 2, 2001, he married the former Pearl C. Helgeson and resided in Mesa, AZ; La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, CA; and Morningside of Fullerton, Fullerton, CA. He was the Guest of Honor at the Iwo Jima Commemorative Banquet on the 61st Anniversary of the Landing on Iwo Jima held at Camp Pendleton, CA. He was a deeply religious person and attended the First Presbyterian Church, Oceanside, CA and Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Carlsbad, CA. Predeceased in death by his beloved wife, Ethel, he is survived by his beloved wife, Pearl, and his extended family Stan Miller, Barbara Carlson, Robert Blomquist, Marsha Paul, John Douts, Joanne McCarty, Dennis Helgeson (Marvel), Linda Marshall (Robert), Jerry Helgeson (Sandra), seven grand-stepchildren, and 18 great-grand- stepchildren. A true patriot, Major General Will Simlik will be greatly missed by his wife, extended family, comrades in arms, friends and all those who knew him. Memorial services are planned for Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 1 p.m. at Morningside of Fullerton, 800 Morningside Drive, Fullerton, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Boys & Girls Club of Vista Foundation, 410 W. California Avenue, Vista, CA 92083 or Holy Cross Episcopal Church, 2510 Gateway Road, Suite, Carlsbad, CA 92009.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Mar. 2, 2014
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