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June 5, 1931 - December 17, 2022

Robert “Bob” W. Simon, 91, of Los Altos, CA, passed away on December 17, 2022, peacefully at home in the presence of his loving family. He is survived by his wife Annette “Annie” of 67 years, Annette, son Glenn and daughters Suzi and Sally along with 5 grandchildren.

Bob Simon was born in San Francisco and grew up in Claremont and Pomona, California. In high school, Bob lettered in track and field his junior and senior years and broke the school’s records in the mile and the half-mile. His athletic skills and academic achievement drew the attention of a coach and Stanford University, where he received an athletic scholarship. His best time in the mile was 4:12.8.

While at Stanford, Bob served in the Air Force ROTC. He was commissioned in January 1954 and, after completing pilot training, was stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California. He co-piloted a C-124 Globemaster, commonly known as “Old Shaky,” and his primary route was to Tokyo, Japan. During his advanced pilot training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX, he met Annette “Annie” Cochran, a Texas Tech student, on a blind date. They were married July 10, 1955.

After the Air Force Bob returned to Stanford to pursue his MBA. Soon after, he landed at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), where he had two “life changing experiences.” The first was an 18-month residency with his family of 5 in Dacca (Dhaka), then called East Pakistan and now known as Bangladesh. Extensive family travels were a part of this experience including visits to Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia and India. The second was an opportunity to make a documentary about the postwar generation and how the attitudes of college students were changing. He screened the film around the country approximately 100 times. John D. Rockefeller III and Bill Hewlett were among those who requested private viewings.

After SRI, Bob had a wonderful career with Stanford University for over 23 years. Bob was Assistant Dean for Corporate Development for 15 years at the Stanford Business School. Then in 1985, as Stanford was gearing up for its 1991 Centennial celebration, the Simons moved to New York City, where Bob opened a regional office for Stanford, and where they would spend the next eight and a half years.

Shortly after the Centennial campaign came to an end, Bob became Director of Development for North America for the American University in Cairo. He retired in 1994.

Bob was well known by family and friends as a writer of “light verse” and could be counted on to recite one of his poems often. At age 37, Bob penned “Elizabeth’s Christmas,” written for a colleague for an office Christmas party in 1968. From that moment he was hooked as he had found “a rewarding way to comment on the world around me.” Over the span of nearly 50 years, he has written over 40 poems, inspired by family life, friends’ foibles and special occasions. His hobby culminated with Ted Koppel reciting lines from his Stanford Centennial Poem as part of the big celebration of the University’s 100th birthday in 1991. He then published a book of his poems in 2000. He gave well over 100 programs to service clubs and the like. One of his poems was printed on a Caltrain poster for a campaign promoting the romance of train travel. He also enjoyed writing a semi-monthly column, containing a poem, in the Los Altos Town Crier for 8 years.

In addition to poetry, Bob enjoyed graphic design and photography and has shared his time and creativity with such groups as Foothill Congregational Church and, most recently, Los Altos United Methodist Church, Stanford University, Los Altos Library Endowment, Sons In Retirement, the city of Los Altos, and several candidates for public office.

A celebration of his life will be held at a future date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Wildlife Conservation Network for elephants would be welcomed.

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