Calvary Cemetery
Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas


Submitted by Oz


Name Birth Date Death Date Other Information
Simon, Donald Camillus
9-21-1922 11-16-2004 b. St. Charles MO St. Charles co., d. Lees Summit MO  Jackson co, Formerly of Wichita, and Huntsville, AL, passed away  after a lengthy struggle with Parkinson's disease. S/O Camillus Simon and Cecelia (Blaeser) Simon. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Adele Hartness and his wife, Lucille (Klotzer) Simon. Don graduated with honors from Mississippi State University in May 1944 with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He was an ensign in the USNR and began a career in design engineering with Cessna Aircraft in January 19435. He retired in December 1982 as Cessna's Administrator of Military Relations and again in April 1992 form Huntsville, AL where he was involved in program development and planning for Boeing's flight simulation and training systems. Don acquired his commercial pilot's license at the ripe old age of 16 and maintained his single, multi-engine and instrument ratings over the next 50 years. He was a true historian of the age of flight and could identify most aircraft with a simple glance at a passing silhouette. He was a greatly valued member of the Cessna organization and highly respected in aviation circles. He made major contributions to planning, development and marketing and his talents influenced Cessna designs that became accepted military standards for aircraft in the U.S. and foreign air forces. Cessna's T-37 jet trainer, for example, was used in the U.S. Air Force for over 40 years and its A-37 jet attack aircraft was used successfully in Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force, and elsewhere in foreign air forces. During his career, Don was considered one of the country's top ten aircraft accident investigators and he participated, on site, at over 250 military aircraft mishaps. After retirement he occasionally consulted on business and military aircraft maintenance, repair, modification, and operation. Don was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Quiet Birdmen, the Air Force Association, the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, the Army Aviation Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, OX-5 Aviation Pioneers and the American Legion.

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