Robert L. Simons

Robert Leland Simons, 95, a longtime Hampton resident, passed suddenly Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at his home. He was born Nov. 12, 1917, in Deerfield, the same day as his mother, the late Eva Davis Simons, who was a teacher in Hampton Falls and Seabrook, and took pride in her DAR heritage, and the late Herman George Simons, formerly of Hampton, who was employed by the US Postal Service and once delivered mail by stagecoach. He graduated from Hampton Academy, Class of 1936, having played baseball and football and the clarinet in the band. He was a passionate sailor, owning many recreation boats over a lifetime. A licensed HAM Radio operator at age 17, his radio skills led him to General Electric in Lynn to work on aircraft engines. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1943, and was sent to Bermuda, Spain, Africa, and Italy, specializing as a radio man, earning the rank of chief petty officer. While on leave, he met Ruth Eaton of Springfield and Boston. They married Feb. 3, 1945, and enjoyed nearly 64 years together. Beginning their married life in Hampton, Robert became a call firefighter before employment for 30 years at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He worked at Design Shop 67 as an electronics technician on quality control and strain gauges for the submarine fleet. He traveled extensively for the Navy, receiving training in San Diego, Great Lakes, Winston-Salem, and Groton. He was a man of many interests, including fishing, lobstering, sailing, power boating, and gardening. He took great pride in building the family's home from plans and lumber that arrived in a boxcar from Liberty Homes. He also had a home-based radio and television business which had many faithful followers long after he 'officially' retired. Upon retirement, Bob and Ruth enjoyed winters in Highland Lakes, Fla., and resumed playing golf and shuffleboard. They were active promoters of the Grasshoppers as members of Highland Lakes and Exeter Country Clubs, each scored several holes-in-one, and were winners of many annual golf events at both clubs. They enjoyed traveling to Europe and cruising in the Caribbean, where they met the parents of son-in-law (now deceased), Eddy M. Preval, Dr. LeRoi and Tia'man Preval of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was a longtime fan of the Boston Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots. He enjoyed cooking and reflected on his school days as a fry cook at Palmer's Fried Clam Restaurant, an institution at North Beach. He faithfully attended services at the First Congregational Church of Hampton and enjoyed membership in many service organizations including the American Legion, NARFE and the VFW. Family members will miss his cultivation of delicious tomatoes every summer, his uncanny knack of bargains at summer yard sales with 'mentees' and fellow HAM aficionados Kim and Ginny Clough, and his innate ability to repair and re-engineer almost anything on one's "honey-do" lists. He leaves his daughters Nancy (husband Phillip McDonough) of Rye, and Joan Preval of Arlington; granddaughters, Christina Preval of Somerville and Elizabeth Preval of Medford; grandson, Jeffrey Preval of Buffalo, N.Y.; and great-grandson, Anthony Aiken of Arlington. In addition to his parents and his loving wife, he was predeceased by brothers, Richard and Russell, and sister, Martha Simons. All services for Saturday have been postponed due to the snow storm and will be rescheduled at a later date. Remick & Gendron Funeral Home | Crematory, 811 Lafayette Road, Hampton. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the First Congregational Church's "God's Baby Closet" or its Building Fund, 127 Winnacunnet Road, Hampton, NH 03842. For information or to sign an online guestbook, visit

Published in The Arlington Advocate from Feb. 3 to Feb. 10, 2013