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Shepherd's Story

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Shepherd Simons, of Peabody, formerly of Swampscott and Lake Worth, Fla., passed away peacefully on June 18, 2017, Father’s Day. He was the devoted husband of Elaine (Kahan) Simons, his wife of 69 years and who was at his side when he died. He leaves behind his son, William Simons and his partner, Nancy Cannon of Oneonta, N.Y. and his daughter, Jo Ann Simons and her husband, Chet Derr of Swampscott. He was the loving grandfather to Emily and her husband Brent Markus, Jonathan Derr and Joseph Simons and his wife Lynette. Devoted great-grandfather of Lily, Hannah, Isaac and Daniel Simons and to Nathan Markus. Shep was the beloved son of the late Josepha and Bertha Simons. Brother of Alan Simons and his wife, Sheila of Swampscott, the late Rhoda Berman and her husband, Irving, and the late Sheldon Simons and his wife, Marcia. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
He was particularly proud that his grandson, Jonathan, who has Downs Syndrome, has defied all expectations and is living an independent life.
Born in Boston, Shep was raised in Lynn where he graduated from Lynn Classical High School. He received his degree in Business Administration from Boston University after serving in the Air Force during WWII. Together, with his younger brothers, he transformed his father’s shoe store into the Simons Uniform Company of Lynn. A successful business, it received international attentions when Albert DeSalvo was caught there after his escape from prison in 1967.
A founding and continuing member of Temple Emanu-El of Marblehead, he had a lifetime devotion to the North Shore Jewish Community Center, first at its original home in Lynn and then in Marblehead, where he chaired the Physical Education Committee and Aquatics Committee. For over 25 years, Shep led a Jewish youth group for boys, The Lynn AZA #471, where he guided scores of young Jewish youth into manhood. He had also been a member of the New England Swimming Coaches and Officials Association. For many decades, he and his wife enjoyed belonging to the Kernwood Country Club in Salem, Mass. and the Fountains Country Club in Lake Worth, Fla.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at The Brooksby Village Chapel, 100 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody, MA 01960. Interment will follow at Temple Emanu-El Memorial Park, Danvers. Shiva will be observed following the interment at the home of Jo Ann Simons and Chet Derr from 3:30 to 8 p.m. On Thursday, the family will be receiving visitors at his late residence from 2 to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Simons/Derr Inclusion Fund at the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, 4 Community Rd., Marblehead, MA 01945. This will help strengthen both the Jewish Community Center and ensure the full inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities, both matters close to Shep’s heart.
Published on  June 20, 2017
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