North Irwin man had love for his community
Louis A. Simon of North Irwin was a community-minded person who served his town’s fire department, the borough’s zoning commission, picked up litter around town and helped to preserve a local pond.
“He would walk around town and clean up the litter he saw in his daily walks. He rebuilt the dam at the Norwin Irwin pond,” working on it for about a month when it was in danger of collapsing, said his son, Mark Simon, of Irwin. It was a pond where they would ice skate in the winter and fish in the summer, Simon said.
Mr. Simon was a volunteer with the Norwin Irwin Fire Department, first as a firefighter and, in his later years, as a fire policeman. He served on the borough’s zoning commission in the 1990s, Simon said.
Louis A. Simon, 94, died Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, in Transition Care Center, North Huntingdon.
Mr. Simon was born April 11, 1924, in Daisytown, to the late Louis and Esther (Kovacs) Simon.
His father was a coal miner, and the family lived in a coal company-owned house in the Washington County community, his son said. Like many of his generation growing up during the Great Depression and World War II, he did not finish high school, Simon said.
With the nation embroiled in World War II, Mr. Simon joined the Army Air Force, serving in France.
When he returned home after the war, he did not want to join his father in the coal mine. Instead, he landed a job at U.S. Steel Corp.’s Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock. It was while working in the blast furnace at the Braddock mill that the young steelworker met Dolores A. “Dolly” Weber of North Braddock.
The couple married and moved to North Irwin in the 1950s. They were together for 60 years, until her death in November 2006. Simon said his father took care of his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, for the last years of her life.
Mr. Simon loved to go fishing with his sons and grandchildren along the Loyalhanna Creek in Ligonier and in the Allegheny River near Harmarville. Simon said they often would transport the fish they caught in the Allegheny River and toss them into the North Irwin pond.
Music was a big part of Mr. Simon’s life. He was an excellent trombonist during his youth and enjoyed playing the harmonica, particularly for patients and staff at Transition Care Center.
“When we were real young, he would play his harmonica at our request,” his son said.
Mr. Simon had been a member of the Hungarian Club in Daisytown and, on occasion, would take his family to the club, Simon said. It gave him a chance to listen to polkas, which he loved.
After a workout in an Irwin gym, Mr. Simon would meet his buddies at the Giant Eagle supermarket for coffee and kibitzing.
Mr. Simon loved to vacation in Ocean City, Md., and Clearwater Beach, Fla.
In addition to his son, Mark, he is survived by sons Gary (Tammy) Simon of Cranberry and Louis (Karen) Simon of Seffner, Fla.; one daughter, Kellie Simon of North Huntingdon; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Ott Funeral Home Inc., 805 Pennsylvania Ave., Irwin. A funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, with the Rev. Gary Simpson presiding. Burial will take place in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, North Huntingdon.
Memorial donations may be made to White Oak Animal Safe Haven, 2295 Lincoln Way, White Oak, PA 15131.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .