Matthew Robert Simons, 91, of The Villages, Florida, died on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at home after a short illness.
Matt was born at Orange Memorial Hospital, in Orange, NJ. He attended East Orange High School, and as a young man was an avid soccer player. He volunteered for the US Army in 1951, serving overseas during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1954.
In 1952, while home on leave, Matt met his wife-to-be, Lillian (nee Burkart), he corresponded with her while he was overseas, and he married her in 1955. Matt and Lil were happily married for almost 68 years. In 1956, their first child, Matthew Joseph (m. Patricia Murphy) was born, followed by daughters Patricia Lynn, and Ann Marie (m. Steven Contaldi).
Matt and Lil first lived in Irvington, NJ, after which time they bought their first home in Pompton Plains, NJ. The young family moved to Bradenton, FL, for two years, and then they settled again in Pompton Plains, where they lived happily for 33 years.
Matt’s career included positions with Household Finance Corporation, and Jersey City Medical Center. He retired as a Hospital Administrator with Orange Memorial Hospital in Orange, NJ
Matt and Lil moved to The Villages, FL, in 1998, thriving there for 25 years. Matt and Lil enjoyed their retirement together, immensely. They each took up golf, and they both formed many close friendships. Matt loved hawking for golf balls, and his golf ball collection was legendary among his family and friends. He finally decided to part with much of this collection, by packing and shipping most of his stash to soldiers on active duty in the Middle East. Matt and Lil supported many Catholic, patriotic, and children’s charities over the years, and Matt was always available to help friends with home maintenance projects.
In 2017, Matt was thrilled to participate, as a wartime veteran, in a Villages Honor Flight. He and fifty other veterans were flown to Washington DC to tour the war memorials. Matt was truly stunned and humbled by the appreciation and honors afforded the veterans on this magnificent trip.
Over the years, Matt and Lil’s children and their families enjoyed many warm-weather vacations in The Villages. Golf-cart driving was definitely a favorite activity for all.
Matt is survived by his wife, Lil (nee Burkart), and by his three children, Matt (Pat) Simons of Galloway, NJ, Patty of The Villages, FL, and Ann Marie (Steve), of Pompton Plains, NJ; five grandchildren, Joe (Anna) Simons, Kathleen Simons, Maureen (Dan) Martin, Danielle Contaldi and Stephanie Contaldi; and four great grandchildren, Emma Simons, Elizabeth Simons, Daniel Martin, and Sean Martin; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Matt is preceded in death by his father, Walter, his mother, Mary, and his older brothers, Walter and Jack.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Summerfield, Florida on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Inurnment will follow at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the MaryKnoll Sisters (www.maryknoll.org), The Gary Sinise Foundation (www.garysinisefoundation.org), or Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC (www.childrensnational.org).
The family of Matt Simons wishes to also recognize the caring staff of Compassionate Care Hospice and My Brother’s Keeper, two local caregiving organizations, for the exceptional, compassionate care Matt received.