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Nelson C. Simonson


Career Naval officer Captain Nelson Conrad Simonson died on June 17, 2023. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 9, 1927 to the late Nelson Cook Simonson and Fern HattSimonson. His sister Aileen (Simonson) Wester also preceded him in death.

Nelson attended The University of Rochester where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and then earned  a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Captain Simonson served in the US Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps for thirty years. His assignments took him to Guam and Iwakuni, Japan,  Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, Honolulu, Hawaii, the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Maryland, the Bureau of Yards and Docks in Washington DC, the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Viet Nam and finally another tour of duty in Washington DC where he retired from the Navy in 1974.

Following his years in the Navy, he joined Gilbert and Associates in Reading, Pennsylvania as a senior manager. In his spare time he engaged with the Reading Chapter of the World Affairs Council, Cumru Township Planning Commission, the First UU Church of Berks County, Murray Grove UU Retreat Center, and the Pennsylvania Universalist Convention.

Nelson's interests were as numerous as they were varied. He enjoyed playing sports such as softball, volleyball, bowling, handball, squash, racquetball, and billiards. His mind was ever sharp, honed by the challenges of bridge, poker, and public speaking. He found joy in the rhythm of square dancing and the intricate world of model railroads.

He and his beloved wife, Caroline Loraine (Davis) Simonson were married in 1948 and recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Together they raised five children: Carol Fern Culhane, Nelson Cook Simonson, Roy Albert Simonson, Shirley Adelia Sites, and Thomas Noah Simonson. Their legacy lives on through the laughter and love of their numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He lived his final thirty years in the Phoebe Berks retirement community in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.

Nelson Conrad Simonson’s life was lived with kindness, dignity, and honor, leaving an indelible mark upon the hearts of those who knew him.He will be missed in so many ways.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday August 5, 2023 at 2:00PM at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County at 416 Franklin St Reading PA 19602. We will meet not to mourn his passing but rather to cherish the memories, lessons and love he shared with us.  And given his deep love of ice cream, we will close the Celebration with an ice cream social at the church. Formal attire not required.

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Celebration of Life
August 5, 2023

2:00 PM
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County


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