George Jerome Simonis

November 9, 1946 ~ February 14, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

George Simonis Obituary

George Jerome Simonis of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Silver Spring MD and Flat Rock, NC, passed away at home, February 14, 2024; age 77, after a long illness with Lewy Body Dementia. Born on November 9, 1946, the oldest of four children, in Wisconsin Rapids to Anselm and Agnes Simonis, he grew up in Vesper, WI. George spent a lot of his early years playing with his first cousins, the Olds girls, especially Carolyn, and they have stayed in touch through the years. He attended Mary Heart High School, Pittsville, WI. and then Assumption High school, Wisconsin Rapids. At age 16, George got his first car, an old green 1951 Chevy, to transport himself and his buddies to school because the Catholic school didn’t have a school bus to pick up students in rural Vesper.
George was born with a curious and scientific mind and was always creating devices such as electric-eye motion detectors or Morse code gadgets, as well as making stink bombs, building tree huts, and creating army games using pop bottle caps as soldiers with his brothers. He was very inventive and even took part in running a pool hall with his best buddy, Bill Bean, during his high school years. He attended Platteville State University where he met and dated Toni Bullai for 4 years. After graduating they married and spent the next 4 years in Manhattan, KS where George received a PhD in Physics from Kansas State University. He was commissioned through the university’s ROTC two-year program as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. 
George served his army obligation as a 1st Lieutenant at Harry Diamond Labs (HDL) from 1972-1974 as a Research Physicist. Hired in 1974 by HDL (later renamed Army Research Labs,); during his 38 years at HDL, he worked on the development of specialized lasers for remote surveillance and communications. He presented his research papers at universities in England, France, Germany, and the U.S. He received many awards and outstanding plaques during his working career. He worked actively with student interns and at science fairs in Maryland schools.
After retiring, in 2015, George and Toni relocated from Silver Spring, MD to Flat Rock.  George enjoyed traveling, skiing, biking, sailing, reading, and billiards. Other interests were landscaping/gardening, genealogy, and gemology. George also enjoyed lunchtime walks with his research colleagues and entertaining his friends during the summers around the pool in Silver Spring. George was married to his beloved wife for 55 years. He was loved for his kind and gentle character and the integrity with which he faced the decisions in his life. He was loved and admired by his family; brother Norbert and wife Mary (Ginger), brother David and wife Debra, and sister Mary Accola and husband Conrad. He was extremely proud of his nieces and nephews and of their many accomplishments. George was an amazing man, good friend, and a wonderful “Big” brother. He will be in our hearts and memories forever and missed by all his loved ones. Per George’s request, there is no funeral or memorial service planned at this time. 


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