George Symeon “The Greek” Simons, 80, passed away on Dec. 31, 2020, at his home in Moab. George was born to Symeon and Artemesia Simons on May 5, 1940, in Price, Utah.
George lived a life of adventure. At age 18, George won the Price Chamber of Commerce’s “Dollar Day” competition by carrying $500 silver dollars in a bag for one mile in one hand. This feat of strength and endurance earned George the moniker “The Greek with the Golden Arm.”
Employing his God-given talents as a mechanic, George embarked on a stint in the Air Force as a mechanic receiving an honorable discharge. It is during his time in the Air Force that George developed his love of flying aircraft and sparked his goal to obtain his pilot’s license. After returning to Moab, George worked at the potash mine. Driving along the Colorado River each day inspired George to work on the Colorado River as a white-water river guide.
In the early 1970s, George was recruited to build the Canyon King paddle-wheeler, which was launched in 1972 with dignitaries from all over the state in attendance, including the then-Governor.
George worked at Texas Gulf, Atlas Minerals and a number of other mining companies and locations in southern Utah. George progressed to becoming a professional millwright, where he excelled. George’s ability to assess a problem and see the solution, then repair or build the part or tool needed was legendary and he was highly sought after for his unique skill set.
Waking up one morning, George decided to become a commercial fisherman. This decision required George and his family to move from Moab to Chinook, a little town on the southern tip of Washington State. There, George fished up and down the western seaboard, chasing tuna and salmon. After a few years, George ended this adventure and returned home.
Unfortunately, George experienced a significant on-the-job back injury while working as a heavy equipment mechanic. As part of his rehabilitation, George obtained his associate degree from the College of Eastern Utah. After this, George elected to retire and to work full-time at helping his friends, colleagues, and acquaintances—at least when he was not scouting, hunting, fishing, or just traveling the countryside and mountains since he loved being in the outdoors.
George gave freely of his time, money and support to anyone who came into his sphere of influence. As many know, one of his greatest passions was to discuss scripture and life choices with anyone, oftentimes making sure they had a beer or a “snort” to wet their throat during the discussions. The list of those George helped without any thought of payment or recompense is long, and that is how he lived his life to the very end.
George is survived by his beautiful sisters, Despina Struck (Colorado Springs) and Syd Colessides (Salt Lake City); his children, Leslie Faught, Mark Simons, Amy Quayle, Kevan Beijan and Shawn Beijan; and 13 grandchildren.
George elected to make his final resting place at the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Moab, facing east so he could look at the red rock bluffs and the La Sal Mountains in the distance. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Grand County Hospice. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com.