William Simon, III

Obituary of William Simon, III

Lt Col William Simon III, 80, of State College, PA, died on February 11, 2018 from natural causes. He was the son of the late William Simon Jr. and the late Jayne H. Simon. Mr. Simon was born in Pittsburgh, PA and was a 1959 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, of which his father was a founding member of the Penn State chapter. Bill also earned two master's degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (Management Science and Systems Management).

During his four years at Penn State, Bill was a member of the USAF ROTC program. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He attended Officer's Preflight training prior to entering Undergraduate Navigator training. After receiving his Navigator wings he served as a navigator and instructor in KC-135 air refueling squadrons flying air refueling missions all around the globe. Bill transitioned into the RC-123 as part of the strategic reconnaissance program flying peripheral electronic intelligence collections against enemy electronic emissions. On one of those missions his aircraft was fired on by a Soviet MIG jet fighter.

Lt Col William Simon III was a Master Navigator with 5,200 total flying hours. He was awarded numerous decorations including the Vietnam Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Bill retired after 25 years of service. His last assignment on active duty was Director of Operations at the USAF Headquarters at Tempelhof Central Airport in West Berlin, Germany. Bill remained in West Berlin where he taught computer science and mathematics courses at the University of Maryland, European Division. In 1992 he moved back to PA where he taught computer systems courses at Penn State.

Active in the local State College community, he was involved with the Penn State Alumni Association, Hockey Boosters, Men's Volleyball Boosters, Women's Volleyball Boosters, the State College Community Theatre and was a recipient of the Shirley Andrews Award (April 2012) for his volunteer service with the American Red Cross.

Bill must have had high-octane fuel in his blood, for he was a member of the Porsche Club of America for over 40 years -- an organization of Porsche enthusiasts. In 1997, he co-founded PCA's Keystone Region and served as President, Vice President, Member at Large, and was editor of the chapter newsletter.

He is survived by his three children, Christine E. Simon (WA), Barbara L. Simon (CA), and William Simon 4th (CO). He is also survived by his brother Robert J. Simon (NC), PSU class of 1978. He was preceded in death by his brother, G. Ronald Simon, PSU class of 1963.

In lieu of flowers, please make online donations to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp) which advances research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held at the Tavern Restaurant on Sunday February 18 from 3:00 to 5:00pm so friends and colleagues can bid him farewell.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.