PORTLAND, Ore. — James George Simon, age 93, passed away in Portland, Oregon, on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2017. Born to David Lawrence and Etta Mae Simon on June 29, 1924, at Ohio Oil Camp, Montana, the third child of six. His wife of 62 years and the love of his life, Alice Jane Simon, passed away in 2013. Jim is survived by David Simon of Draper, Utah, Jayme Wendland of Portland, Oregon, and four grandchildren.
Jim was raised and attended schools in Conrad. After high school, he attended Helena VoTech to be an aircraft mechanic at the Great Falls Army Air Base, then he applied for and completed cadet and navigator training in the Army Air Force. He served in the Eighth Air Force, 351st Bomb Group on a B-17 Fortress out of Polebrook Air Field in England, flying several combat missions into Germany. A paperback book titled a “Neighborhood of Eagles,” by Norman Rudi, mentions Jim along with his B-17 crew picture in one chapter.
After his WWII tour, Jim completed a Construction Engineer degree at Chicago Tech, then joined his father at Askevold and Ruud Construction in Missoula. He married Alice, a registered nurse, in 1950. They lived briefly in Sacramento, California, before moving to Great Falls. His building construction background eventually evolved into electric utility construction. In 1981, he joined the Montana Power Company on the Colstrip Units 3 and 4 project as town site development manager. Jim later supervised rebuild projects at Milltown Dam near Missoula and the Madison Dam near Ennis. He retired in 1990 in Missoula to travel with Alice, trailering to Mesa, Arizona, in the winter.
In 2000, Jim and Alice moved to Eugene, Oregon, then back to Lolo, in 2006. In 2015, Jim moved to Portland Oregon, residing there until his passing.
A celebration of life service is planned in Missoula at a later date.