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Jeffrey E. Simenski


1960 - 2019
Jeffrey E. Simenski Obituary
(News story) Jeffrey E. Simenski, who in his youth helped his father make duck decoys, became a carpenter, and was an owner of a company that makes fixtures for department and specialty stores, died Sunday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 59.

He had pancreatic cancer the last 11 months, his son, Brandon Simenski, said.

Mr. Simenski worked at the business, Prestige Store Interiors, on North Detroit Avenue, until two months ago.

"He said you need to enjoy what you have left. He said 'I go in to work every day,'" said his son, a full-time employee at Prestige for eight years. "He'd been doing that for 35 years."

The company dates to the 1990s. Before that he worked for Master Woodworking and then for Omni Store Fixtures at Ontario and Bassett streets in North Toledo, the former AP Parts complex, which was destroyed in 1993 by a spectacular fire fueled by drums of paint and varnish.

Encouraged by clients who pledged their continued business, Prestige got started. Mr. Simenski and Blain Stobinski, the vice president, were partners in the enterprise. Mr. Stobinski died Oct. 27.

The firm did work for Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and other big names in retail. The company got a boost in the 2002 recession when it received an order for 7,000 fixtures used by a chain's rollout of a new concept in 280 stores, The Blade reported then.

"Our customers expect high quality for reasonable prices," Mr. Simenski's son said. "We built a quality product we would stand behind. We would get the jobs done when the customers needed them.

"That's why we're still in business, and [it is] the legacy I have to take over," his son said.

Mr. Simenski's role was largely administrative for the last 15 years or so, said his son, who has overseen computer-aided design and manufacturing. But he "was always out in the shop and seeing what they were doing. He had input in production, because he was a cabinet maker," his son said.

"He knew we had to evolve, to stay up with new technologies," his son said. "To run your own business, you have to have that mindset - he wanted to do things better. We were always trying to do things better."

Mike Bastian, the firm's operations manager, said that Mr. Simenski "was very meticulous with his books.

"He was good with woodworking," said Mr. Bastian, who worked with him at Master Woodworking and Omni Store Fixtures. "Those two combined talents put him in the position he was in."

"He was great to work for. He was very level-headed and pleasant to work with and easy to talk to.," Mr. Bastian said.

He was born March 7, 1960, at what is now Mercy Health St. Charles Hospital in Oregon to Rosalie and Edward Simenski. He grew up in Rossford and was a graduate of Rossford High School, where he played football.

He started woodworking early, helping his father fashion duck decoys before they went out hunting.

"He got into cabinetry," his son said. "He didn't go to college, but he was smart, and he had a good sense of how to do things. He was good at building cabinets, and that cascaded."

Once in the work force, he became a steward for his local of the millwrights and carpenters union.

He was formerly married to Lynn Simenski.

Surviving are his son, Brandon Simenski; daughter, Ashley Katz; sister, Janice Kahl, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday at at the Sujkowski–Walker Funeral Home in Rossford, where funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The family suggests tributes to pancreatic cancer research at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center of the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Nov. 8, 2019
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