Stephen J. Simons

January 22, 1929 ~ February 7, 2018 (age 89)


Stephen J. Simons, Reitred Dravo Corporation Manager died of heart failure on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at home in Sewickley, PA.  Mr. Simons 89, a long-time resident of Edgeworth, PA was born in Passaic, N.J. to the late Jewett C. and Lillian (Kellmyer) Simons.  He spent his formative years in Sidney, NY.  He was a 1947 graduate of Sidney Central High School and a 1951 Civil Engineering Graduate of Union College, Schenectady, NY.  He was employed by Dravo Corporation for 43 years prior to his retirement in 1994.  Mr. Simons spent his early professional years with Dravo Construction Divisions, where he participated in several notable civil engineering projects.  Among them were the construction of Pike Island Locks and Dam in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he served as Chief Engineer for the contractor, and the design and construction of Little Blue Dam near Georgetown, PA, where he served as project director.  During the 60’s and 70’s Mr. Simons was involved in world wide construction activities for Dravo, monitoring engineering and construction projects in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean area.  Later he served as manager of planning and business analysis for Dravo’s civil, mining and marine division.  From 1981, until his retirement, Mr. Simons served as Manager of Contracts for Dravo Lime Co., A Dravo Corporation Subsidiary, with offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Mobile, AL.  Subsequent to his retirement, he worked for several years as a self-employed contract consultant.  Mr. Simons was a member of the Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, and a former member of Shields Presbyterian Church in Edgeworth, where he served at various times as Trustee, Deacon, Member of the Session, and Church Treasurer.  In addition, he was active for many years in the Shields Church, Christian Education Department, where he served as a teacher, and later as church school superintendent. During this time, Mr. Simons also was an advisor to the Sewickley Area Presbyterian Youth Group, leading teenagers on summer work mission trips to inner city churches, and to various rural communities throughout Appalachia. Mr. Simons was active in community affairs serving as a little league manager in Shadyside, Ohio, and later as an umpire in the Ohio Valley Little League in Sewickley for over ten years.   During his time in Shadyside, Ohio, Mr. Simons designed three new baseball fields for little league and pony league use.  Then, along with several Dravo Construction Craftsmen working after hours on a volunteer basis he helped parents and other local residents to construct these facilities.  The three new fields were complete with dugouts, grandstands, and scoreboards. Mr. Simons was a former member of the Shadyside Lions Club, and the Sewickley Kiwanis Club; and he served for several years as a Director of the McKees Rocks Boy’s Club.  Mr. Simons was also active in the Sewickley Chapter of American Field Service, where he served for a time as President.  In addition, he spent many years working as a company advisor in the Pittsburgh Junior Achievement Program.  In later years, Mr. Simons was a member of the Sewickley Senior Men’s Club and the Dravo Seniors Group.  And in his final years, Mr. Simons served as a volunteer at Heritage Valley Hospital, Sewickley Campus, where he amassed well over 4,000 hours of octogenarian volunteer service over a seven year period until frailty forced yet another retirement. 

Shortly before his death, he often declared that he obtained as much satisfaction from this work as he did from any of his earlier accomplishments.  Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, he would say “Service is the Rent We Pay For the Space we Occupy.” Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Dolly L. (Hartline) Simons, of Edgeworth, PA; one son, The Rev. Dr. James B. Simons of Ligonier, PA; one daughter, Stephanie Jo O’Kane of Edgeworth, PA; and seven grandchildren.  Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 12 Noon at the Sewickley Presbyterian Church, 414 Grant Street, Sewickley, PA.  Burial will be private.  The family suggests memorial contributions, if desired, be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929 or to Sewickley Presbyterian Church.

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