Richard Ralph Simons was born in November 1936, and died Saturday, March 1, 2014. The Richard Simons Co. was started many years ago. Richard also owned a nursery in Old Orcutt for many years. His passion was in the construction industry and he drove heavy equipment. In the interim of his career in the construction industry, his business started off as a three-man crew operation. In 1985, the economy was down and the company faced difficulties with the IRS. Through it all, his faith and perseverance prevailed. In 1999, Richard received a grant from the Government, which qualified him as an 8(a) participant. Soon after the Richards Co. became the 19th fastest growing company in the nation. His acceptance into this program significantly changed his company. The business grew from $500,000 a year to $13 million a year, and Richard received recognition for his performance and professional service. His dreams came true, in spite of only having a seventh grade education. He grew up on a farm with loving parents who taught him a great work ethic. Those who knew Richard, knew he never left home without his calculate, his smile and his sense of humor. He was the best friend you always wanted to have. Richard was a loving husband and a dedicated father. Against all odds he worked and became a successful businessman. Richard had many admirable qualities '? he was humorous, caring, humble, big hearted, and what was most respected, he never expected anything in return. His hobbies included tractors, antique cars, collecting Portuguese dolls, guns, coins, cooking, and most prized of his collection were the best of the best recipes. But at the end of the day, he loved to stay at home - the home he considered his castle. Richard was very passionate about being involved with his communities, Nipomo and Cambria. As he had a love for cooking, the Nipomo Rotary Club
put him in charge of all barbecues. To the Rotary Club, he was El Jefe, or "The Boss." He also enjoyed cooking Thursday night dinners for the Cambria Woman's Auxiliary. His involvements were of many - Rotary Club barbecues, Nipomo Rotary Club chef for Taste of Italy, Hearst Castle Hospice, the World War II
Veterans and Legion Post 432 in Cambria, Christmas banquets and the Women's Shelter. Being a family of dedication, his wife, Socorro, was also involved with the community '? she was in charge of Pindorado Rotary Club Parade in Cambria. Richard personally built these parade floats for the past five years and brought in honors for first prize two consecutive years. He was the Chili Cook Off chef, sponsored by the Cambria Rotary Club, and was awarded second place in Judge's choice. Richard also donated his expertise at Camp Ocean Pines and sponsored St Jude's Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. For his outstanding service to the Community, Richard was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Nipomo Chamber of Commerce, which had only been awarded two other times. He was a multiple recipient of the Paul Harris Award from Cambria and Nipomo Rotary Club. Richard was a major sponsor for Nipomo little league, high school FFA, and Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As his heritage was from Portugal, he and Cocorro made several trips to see the land of his ancestries. They were blessed with opportunities to travel to Alaska, Australia, China, Portugal, Costa Rica, Mexico, Caribbean, Fiji Islands as well as Canada. He was not a man of suits or shiny shoes, he was most fond of his worn out jeans and dirty cowboy boots. To honor him, when you wear these, you are saluting him and his simple way of life. Richard left a legacy of success, love and laughter to all that knew him. Richard is survived by his wife of 30 years, Socorro Simons; four daughters Debbie Simons, Pam Simons, Tammy Simons and Susie Simons Farley; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brothers Robert Simons of Idaho and Frank Simons of Wyoming; sister, Frances Ruskauff of Santa Maria; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Ralph Simons.