Joseph James Simons, 78, of Rome, passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at home with his loving family by his side. He was born March 10, 1939, in Rome, the son of the late Robert and Margaret Romano Simons. Joe graduated Salutatorian from St. Aloysius Academy in 1956 and went on to receive his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from St. Bonaventure University in 1960 and a Master’s Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1974.
Joe joined the Rome Laboratory in February of 1960 as a physicist and culminated his career with the Department of Defense in 1994 as the Chief of the Wide Area Radar Surveillance Division, Directorate of Surveillance and Photonics, Rome Laboratory, Griffiss Air Force Base, NY.
He married his best friend since 5th grade, Mary Malakie, on August 29, 1959, in St. Peter’s Church, a blessed union of 58 years.
Joe was a communicant, lector, Eucharistic Minister, secretary of Parish Council, and former trustee of St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s Church. He was very involved in the conversion of church basement to the Msgr. Francis Culkin Hall. For many years he enjoyed 7:00 a.m. daily mass at St. Peter’s and explaining the beautiful stained glass windows of the church to the CCD classes.
He was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus and he was member of the 6th and 7th Lake Association of Inlet, NY.
A piano player, Joe loved entertaining family and friends and enjoyed summers on 6th Lake.
Surviving besides his loving wife Mary are two children, Sheila (Douglas) Hyldelund of Westernville and Christopher (Maeve) Simons of Wilbraham, MA; four grandchildren, Erin, Brendan, Christopher, and Dale; two great-grandchildren, Allyson and Harper; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Carol and Karen Simons, Joan Torpey, Beverly Malakie, James and Diane Malakie, Douglas and Deborah Malakie; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Martin; two brothers, Robert and F. Victor; and in-laws, James and Gertrude Malakie.
Joe especially cherished his grandchildren and had great love for his family, his faith, and country.
Joe’s family would like to thank the nurses from Upstate University Health System, Oneida Healthcare, and Hospice and Palliative Care for the loving care they gave him during his illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church with the Rev. Philip Hearn officiating. Interment will take place in St. Peter’s Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to call at Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome, on Monday from 4-7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to the St. Peter’s Church Memorial Fund or the charity of your choice.
You may light a candle, send a message of sympathy, and read the obituary at www.nunnandharper.com.