Rev. Everett Davis Simson
1925 - 2007, Santa Barbara
Born Robert Murray, June 28, 1925, in New York City, Ev was adopted by LeGrand and Gladys Simson of Tonawanda, NY, on April 16, 1928. He died peacefully on September 28, 2007, at Villa Alamar in Santa Barbara, CA. Raised in Buffalo, NY, he helped form a boys' fraternity at the age of twelve, which served social causes and sealed friendships for the rest of his life. Ev attended high school in Wayne, PA, where he was appointed Cadet Major at Valley Forge Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1944. He served in the Pennsylvania 28th Division of the U.S. Army in Germany and Belgium during 1944-45. Ev and Mimi Alexander, of Melrose Park, PA, were married on August 16, 1947, and have four children: Michael, Alexander Craig, Shelley, and John; daughters-in-law: Suzanne Simson and Andrea Aucoin; and son-in-law, Alan Plotkin. Ev and Mimi have six grand-children: Tom, Caitlin, Matthew, Jacob, Chloe and Makanakai; and one great-grandchild, Brenden Reid Simson.
A graduate of Springfield College, 1951, Ev was a YMCA Youth Work Director in Abington, PA and Hamilton, OH from 1951-1958. Ev received a Master of Divinity Degree from The Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA in 1961, and was ordained a priest in January, 1962 in Dayton, OH, where he was the Associate Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. In 1964 he spent two dangerous weeks in McComb, MS, counseling voter registration workers. During his three years as Episcopal Chaplain at the University of Louisville he and his family marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in the Civil Rights movement. Ev was called to be Associate Rector at Christ Church, Cincinnati, in 1969, and later called to Los Angeles, where he was appointed Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral from 1974-1979. In 1979 he became the Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Monrovia, CA, from which he retired in 1989. He served on many Diocesan Commissions in Ohio, Louisville and Los Angeles. In retirement he was a spiritual director to many, and visited prisoners at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc with the Prisoner Visitation and Support organization. He also spent ten days in Haiti working with the Sisters of Mother Teresa at a hospital for dying boys. In 1998, Ev was appointed an Honorary Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral Center in Los Angeles. He was also an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross. Ev was a man of integrity and spiritual depth with a love of family and friends, and a sense of humor which carried him through many difficult circumstances.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 6, at 12 noon. Instead of flowers, contributions may be made to: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; The Prisoner Visitation and Support, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or Villa Alamar, 45 E. Alamar St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.