Charles Lee “Chuck” Simon, 88, passed away on April 21, 2020. He was surrounded by his devoted family in the home which he built 42 years ago. Chuck loved life, and he wanted to stay, but cancer had taken its toll.
Known as “Skeeter” in his youth, Chuck was born in Colorado Springs on August 9, 1931 to Margaret (Kimzey) and Judge Charles Joseph Simon. He had happy memories in his early years of living on the same block as his beloved grandparents. Chuck grew up mostly in Colorado, but also had some time in Arizona and Mexico where his dad was working undercover in the army, prior to his deployment to the Pacific in World War II. Chuck spent 7 summers on Vancouver Island with his uncle Jim who he considered to be a second father. After graduating from Lakewood High School, he attended Colorado A&M where he met and married the love of his life, June Morgan. He graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree in forest management. After serving active duty in the Air Force for 3 years, Chuck returned to CSU where he completed his Master’s degree in 1959.
Chuck began a 25 year career with the US Forest Service with stations in Gunnison, CO, Encampment,WY, Denver, and Sheridan. His positions included: ranger, timber and fire staff, fire boss, plans chief, and air service officer. He fought wildland fires for 30 years in 15 states. Chuck loved Sheridan and rather than take a transfer to Colorado, he chose early retirement and began his career in ranch real estate. Chuck also served in the Air Force Reserves for 25 years as an intelligence staff officer with duties at Air Defense Command, NORAD, and Pacific Air Command. He retired as a Lt Col. He was the area Air Force Academy liaison officer for 40 years and proudly helped place many local standouts into the service academies.
Chuck was extraordinarily active in the community. He was a member of Kiwanis for over 50 years, serving as president twice and as lieutenant governor. As a Kiwanian, he helped start the annual duck races and pancake breakfasts, plant the Grinnell Plaza trees, and bring the district convention to his favorite town. He served 21 years on the YMCA Board of Directors and was Republican County Chairman. Chuck was a high school basketball and football referee for many years around the state. He was president of Wild Rose Water Improvement District for 28 years, and state president of the Reserve Officers Association. He was appointed as a director and served as treasurer of Goose Valley Fire District where he was instrumental in getting the fire station constructed, recruiting volunteers, purchasing equipment, and then served as a first responder for 5 years. He was a member of the Sheridan Elks and American Legion. He attended the United Methodist Church where Reverend Adams would pay him a quarter for each sermon in which he stayed awake; Chuck made 75¢.
Chuck treasured the outdoors and sporting events of all kinds. He enjoyed family camping, hunting, and fishing, including trips to North Carolina, Alaska and Argentina. He took many pack trips in Colorado and Wyoming, and outfitted in Colorado. He bowled, played on many softball teams, and participated in the Wyoming State Games where he won the 100m, 200m, and the long jump at age 60. He played in dozens of handball tournaments and played his last basketball game during noon ball at the Y at age 85. Chuck was a loyal fan of his son-in-law Joe’s Palisade Bulldogs and Mesa State Mavericks. He also loved the Broncs, Rams, Eagles, Generals, and Cowboys. Heaven for him in Sheridan was a weekend with multiple home games. Though it embarrassed his 3 kids who graduated from UW, he was proud to be a CSU Ram.
Chuck worshiped the Lord through his integrity and his respect for nature. He was an inspiration to many and had a positive attitude throughout his life. He loved animals and rooted for all people. He was a smart, hardworking, jack-of-all-trades man who never stopped learning – except for technology in his old age! He kept his sense of humor to the end. A highlight in his last years was meeting his good friends at the Flagstaff Cafe on Wednesday mornings.
Chuck was proud of his family. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, June; children Gerry (Mary) Simon of Woodland Park, CO, Sandy (Joe) Ramunno of Grand Junction, CO, Debbie (David) Williams of Sheridan; grandchildren Amanda (Connor) SimonNeu, Phil Simon, Niko Ramunno, Calli Ramunno, Allison Williams; sisters Lois Winkler of Denver and Mary Vigal of Bremerton, WA. He is also survived by Maggie the cat, the hundreds of birds he fed, and the thousands of trees he planted throughout Colorado and Wyoming. He will be greatly missed.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Donations could be made to: the YMCA https://www.sheridanymca.org/donate-online in his memory.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.