Melvin “Doc” M. Simon, 88

Melvin “Doc” M. Simon

White River Jct., VT
February 20, 1933 - Saturday, July 24, 2021

White River Jct., VT – Melvin “Doc” M. Simon, 88, died Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Windsor, VT.  Doc was born at home on February 20, 1933, in Cold Spring, MN, the fourth of five children of Albin and Leona (Scherer) Simon.   

Doc grew up in Minnesota and graduated from St. Boniface High School in 1952 where he excelled at sports serving as Captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He also served as Class President in his Junior and Senior year of high school. With his friend, Marvin “Narge” Faber, Doc enlisted in the US Navy in March 1952, went to basic training in Great Lakes, IL, and served as an Aviation Storekeeper for the Navy jet pilots’ training base at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Kingsville, TX. He had the distinct honor of flying once with the Navy Blue Angels jet squad back to base following an incident with an engine of the jet he was in. In September of 1954, he became one of the first crewmembers aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ticonderoga after it was recommissioned for duty as part of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea during the Korean Conflict. Doc received his Honorable Discharge in 1956 and continued to serve in the Reserves until 1960. Doc went on to become the curator of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga Museum at Ticonderoga, NY, for two years as well as President of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga Veterans Association 2004-2005. He was aboard the 1973 Tiger Cruise following the decommissioning of the ship and was proud to have attended every annual ship reunion until 2016.   

While in the Navy Doc met his future brother-in-law by chance in a mess hall. Through this random encounter, he started writing to his future bride Lucille “Lou” Beaulieu. They wrote daily for an entire year before meeting face-to-face. At the time, Lou was studying for her medical lab tech degree, and so chose to do her lab internship in Houston. Following her internship, they drove from Texas to Minnesota to meet Doc’s family, and then Lou returned to New York by train from Chicago. They were engaged by telephone upon her return as Doc had sent the engagement ring to her home. They were married on May 28, 1955, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in her hometown of Tarrytown, NY.   

Doc briefly worked at the New York State Thruway Authority as a Mechanical Stores Clerk while he pursued a degree in Business Administration at Westchester Community College in White Plains, NY. Following the births of his three older daughters, Doc started working as a janitor at a small handicraft import business known as Shopping International. The owners of the business decided to return to their roots in Vermont, and so Doc and Lou moved their family to White River Jct. in 1962. They welcomed daughter number four soon after arrival in Vermont. Over a career spanning 25 years, Doc worked his way up to Vice President of Operations. Shopping International closed the Norwich facility in 1983. Doc worked at several other companies and finished his working career in 1996 at Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH.   

Upon arrival in Vermont, Doc became active in the community and especially the Hartford American Legion Post 26, becoming a Life Member in 1975. He was extremely proud that during his tenure as Post Commander, membership of the Post doubled earning him Legionnaire of the Year in 1980. Doc also served as District Commander, Commander of the Department of Vermont and National Vice-Commander. He was proud to note that he visited each Post within the Department of Vermont during his tenure of Department Commander. As National Vice-Commander Doc was asked to place the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day in 1981. Doc served as Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the American Legion Foreign Relations Committee for many years as well as many other positions and committees at all levels of the American Legion. He was particularly proud that he attended every National Legion Convention from 1973 to 2016. Doc moved his membership to Norwich Post 8 in 2016.  

He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church for nearly 59 years and was an active member of the White River Junction Lion’s Club for more than four decades, served as Trustee of Public Funds for Hartford for many years, Hartford Veterans Council, ANAVICUS (Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans in Canada – US Unit), U.S.S. Ticonderoga Association, and the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.  

Doc and Lou loved to open their home to others. What was supposed to have been a 3 month visit in 1972 for foreign exchange student, Maria Eugenia Cardenas from Columbia, South America, became an 8 month stay and a lifelong relationship. Doc absolutely loved Dartmouth football and was fortunate to have Narge Faber’s son Steve play football at Dartmouth. As a result, Steve became the son he never had and joined the family for many holidays during his Dartmouth years. This experience led to Doc taking in two more players and their families from Minnesota when they were playing for Dartmouth, one of whom was from his hometown of Cold Spring! 

In addition to sports, Doc loved to meet new people, play cards and cribbage, and a cold brewski. He loved traveling and stepped foot in all 50 States as well as visiting many countries in Europe, Asia and Central America. Doc loved to collect things which led to his daughters to lovingly call him “Knerps”, named for a squirrel from the childhood story Doc made up for the girls. Most of all, Doc loved his family. The family would like to thank all of those who made it possible for Doc to stay in his home including the Bugbee Senior Center Meals on Wheels, neighbors Mike and Alyn Asis, and the White River VA Hospital medical staff.   

He was predeceased by his parents; wife, Lou on July 19, 1999; a brother, Leon “Red” Simon; and two sisters, Eileen Jonas and Dorothy Schouviller.  

Doc is survived by his four daughters, Norma Jean Simon of Windsor, VT, Lori (Jim) Dickerson of White River Jct., VT, Linda (George) Miller of White River Jct., VT, and Diane (Paul) Reilly of Groton, MA; six grandchildren, Hannah (Willis) King, Steven Dickerson, Alex (Vanessa) Miller, Ashley (Mike) Whitty, Luke Reilly, and Mike Reilly; seven great grandchildren; sister, Milly Schoen of St. Michael, MN; sister-in-law Carolyn White and her husband, John of Wappingers Falls, NY; sister-in-law Wooky Doyle of LeGrangeville, NY; two daughters by choice, Maria Eugenia Cardenas Trujillo of Medellin, Columbia SA; and Deb Skoby of Windsor, VT; son by choice Steve Faber of Minnetonka, MN; many nieces and nephews; other relatives and many friends.  

Visiting hours will be held at the Knight Funeral Home in White River Jct., Sunday evening, August 8, 2021, from 6-8 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Anthony Catholic Church on Monday, August 9, at 11AM and will be live streamed (details to be announced.) Burial with Military Honors will follow in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery on Hartford Avenue in White River Jct.   

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the White River Veterans Administration Medical Center, Attn: Voluntary Service General Purpose Fund, 215 N. Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05009. 

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