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obituaries

Kenneth Simon, 93, Formerly Of Mamaroneck, Prisoner Of War

Longtime Mamaroneck resident Kenneth Simon, a lawyer and lover of theater, passed away June 14 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.
Longtime Mamaroneck resident Kenneth Simon, a lawyer and lover of theater, passed away June 14 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 93. Photo Credit: Provided

MAMARONECK N.Y. -- Kenneth Simon, a former longtime resident of Mamaroneck, passed away Tuesday, June 14 at his home in New York from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.

Born in New York City, where his parents operated newsstands and stores, Simon attended Dewitt Clinton High School and the City College of New York.

Simon served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a second lieutenant and a bombardier. He flew 60 missions, earning a Purple Heart.

Shot down over Italy in 1944, he was in a German prisoner of war camp in Poland until 1945, when he was liberated by the Russians. While in the camp, Simon founded a theater troupe that presented light-hearted revues to help cheer fellow prisoners.

After Simon returned to the United States in 1945, he enrolled at Georgetown University with the hopes of becoming a foreign service officer. Despite being a war hero, Simon found this was not to be, as the foreign service had an unwritten rule against hiring Jews.

He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1949.

He married Doris (Silk) Simon and had three children: Ira, Emily and Anne.

Simon became a lawyer during the McCarthy era. Not swayed to work on only safe cases, he represented people as diverse as Alger Hiss and Peggy Guggenheim.

After the family moved to Mamaroneck, Simon became the village attorney and a municipal judge.

Simon, whose love of the theater never left him, received an award in 1995 for helping establish the Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck as a cultural center.

Widowed in 2003, Simon returned to New York City to be closer to the theater world.

He is survived by his son, Ira, and daughter-in-law, Karen; daughter Emily Simon and her wife, Mary Ann Gernegliaro; daughter Anne Simon and her husband, Donald Heller; and grandchildren, Andrew Simon, Matthew Simon, Rose Heller, and Lena Heller.

Simon will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

His memorial service is from 11 a.m. to noon Friday at Beth Abraham Memorial Chapel, 199 Bleecker St., New York City.

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