Robert Simonton, Sr.
unknown - August 31, 2013
Robert Bennet Simonton, Sr., passed away on Aug. 31, 2013, surrounded by his family in his home at in North Carolina. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Beulah Hulsebus Simonton and Theodore Eames Simonton. He is survived by his adored and devoted wife of 56 years, Tanya Wood Simonton, and his three children and their spouses: Sharon Simonton and Victor Chao of Ann Arbor, MI; Bob Jr. and Lynda Simonton of Carlisle, MA; and Scott and Susan Simonton of Charlotte, NC. Bob leaves six grandchildren who were his pride and joy: Mira Simonton-Chao, Bennet, Stowe, and Elsa Simonton and Lindsay and Mac Simonton.
Bob was born in 1933 in New York City where he lived briefly until the family moved to Cazenovia, where he grew up. He attended Pebble Hill School in Dewitt, and then attended Philips Academy in Andover, MA, graduating in 1950. It was while attending Andover that he first met the love of his life, Tanya Wood, at a Junior League dance in Syracuse. After graduating from Andover, Bob attended Amherst College from 1950-1952 where he lettered in pole vault on the track team and then attended Columbia University graduating in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
After graduating from Columbia, Bob was inducted into the U.S. Army serving as a sergeant in the Infantry Medical Corps stationed in Alaska during the Korean War.
Upon his return home, Bob attended Syracuse University College of Law where he was president of the Student Association and was inducted into the Justinian Honorary Law Society. He graduated Syracuse Law School with an LL.B in 1959. Upon graduation, Bob worked as an associate patent attorney at his father’s law firm and then as an associate lawyer at Hancock, Dorr, Ryan and Shave in Syracuse.
Bob and Tanya met again while Bob was attending Syracuse Law School. They dated and were married in 1957. After graduating, Bob and Tanya returned to Cazenovia where their children were born: Sharon in 1960, Bob Jr. in 1963, and Scott in 1969.
Bob’s professional career took off when he was hired as a staff attorney at Bristol –Myers Company in 1964 and then promoted in 1967 to Vice President and Counsel. In 1974, he was hired as vice president, general counsel and secretary at the Crouse-Hinds Company in Syracuse and then in 1975 as secretary and general counsel at Sterling Drug in New York City.
In 1975 the family moved from Cazenovia to Westport, CT. Bob and Tanya raised their three children in Westport, all three graduating from Staples High School. Despite commuting daily to Manhattan, Bob rarely missed one of his children’s sporting events and was a regular on “The Hill” for the next decade cheering on the Staples soccer team.
Education, community service and volunteerism played important roles in Bob’s life. Despite his busy schedule, Bob always made time to support the organizations and causes important to him. He served as a member of the Board of Visitors of Syracuse College of Law, president of the Madison County Young Republicans, president of the board of directors of the Urban League of Onondaga County, member of the Century Club, Chairman of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Savings Bank, president of the Amherst Alumni Association of Central New York, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Pebble Hill School, and chairman of the United Way Advanced Gifts campaign. Bob was an avid golfer, skier and tennis player and served as president of both the Cazenovia Ski Club and a long-time member of the Cazenovia Club.
After retiring, Bob and Tanya moved in 1990 to The Landings at Skidaway Island near Savannah, GA. In Savannah, Bob dedicated himself to helping others. His empathy, friendship, patience, and unwavering support were greatly appreciated by (and many times life saving for) the people he mentored through addiction and personal issues. Bob volunteered much of his time working at community aid organizations such as Georgia Legal Services and serving on the board of directors for Goodwill. He was also active at The Landings serving as treasurer of the Landings Association and on the board of directors for the Marshes Continuing Care facility. When Bob wasn’t busy volunteering or mentoring he enjoyed golf, investing, politics, cooking, travel, and visiting his children and cheering on his six grandchildren. Bob and Tanya moved to North Carolina in 2012.
People who would like to honor Bob with a charitable donation can donate to the Manlius Pebble Hill School, 5300 Jamesville Road, Dewitt, NY 13214.