A much-loved big old Irishman passed away peacefully on September 2 at the Canyonlands Care Center in Moab, Utah. Jon was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania, on August 3, 1939, to Marie Sharkey Simbeck and John George (Jack) Simbeck
He excelled in several sports. Jon made the playoffs in Little League baseball and played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, prior to the years when the Little League World Series were held there. In his senior year in high school, he excelled as a quarterback on his football team. However, on the basketball court, it was his deadly jump shot that came to earn him his greatest respect at St. Catherines, DuBois High School, North Carolina State and finally at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. While there, Jon met and married his biggest fan, JoAnne Gray. They shared a union that remained strong for 55 years. They moved to Mancos, Colorado, where Jon built a basketball program with the fourth graders through high school in 1964 through 1966. Aspiring to coach at a larger school, Jon returned to ASC briefly.
During his time at ASC, his wife had a short illness and with his growing family Jon decided to move to Akron, Ohio, home of the BF Goodrich headquarters. Jon began a new chapter in his life and became one of the leading salesman for BF Goodrich in its emerging fabricated membrane liner industry. When BF Goodrich ceased carrying its liner products, Jon continued with several companies as national sales manager. In 1992, Jon decided to collaborate with his oldest son Brian and his wife in their own business. Duff, their second oldest son, soon joined their team. Together, they put together Simbeck and Associates; now a major liner installation company based in Mancos. With significant contributions from Jon and JoAnne’s other three sons, the company grew to provide liner containment for a variety of applications across the United States. Though relentless as a salesman, Jon was equally competitive on the golf course, where he played daily in the Denver area while they lived in Franktown, Colorado, for 25 years.
In 2000, Jon and JoAnne moved to Moab, where they became members of St. Pius X Parish.
Jon is survived by his dear wife, JoAnne, and their five sons still living in Colorado, of whom he was mightily proud: Brian and his wife Cathy Simbeck of Durango, John (Duff) and his wife Rachael Simbeck of Mancos, Kevin Simbeck and his fiancée Gwen Brahler of Colorado Springs, Conor and his wife Carleigh Simbeck of Denver, and Brendan and his wife Candace Simbeck of Monument. Jon also leaves loving memories to his 12 Simbeck grandchildren: Briana, Caitlin, Maris, Claire, Chandler, Kyler, Lucas, Heath, Shane, Reese, Vincent and Aidan. Jon is also survived by his dear sister Nancy and her husband Tom Moore of DuBois, Pennsylvania, and his brother-in-law Jim Fitzpatrick of DuBois.
He was preceded in death by both parents and his oldest sister Jeanne Fitzpatrick.
Family and friends will gather on September 16, 2017, at 10 a.m. in Mancos at St. Rita’s Catholic Church to celebrate his well-lived life. His sons recall especially his fierce attention to injustices, what a great coach he was, and his remarkable sense of humor. His ashes will be interred at Cedar Grove cemetery in Mancos.
The family is grateful to the skilled and caring staff of the Canyonlands Care Center and the dedicated staff and volunteers of Grand County Hospice. In lieu of flowers, kindly send donations to the Mancos High School basketball program or the Mancos Library.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.