George Symeon Simons
Born: 5/5/1940, Price, Utah
George Symeon “The Greek” Simons, 80, passed away on December 31, 2020 at his home in Moab, Utah. George was born to Symeon and Artemesia Simons on May 5, 1940 in Price, Utah.
George lived a life of adventure. Starting 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 then 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 then worked at Potash, mining the valuable salt deposit. However, driving along the Colorado River each day back and forth to Potash sparked a fire in George to work as a river guide. George left Potash to work on the Colorado River as a white-water river guide taking tourists on weeklong adventures down the river.
In the early 1970’s, George was then recruited to build the Canyon King paddle-wheeler. The Canyon King was designed to ply the waters of the Colorado River out of Moab as a tourist draw. In 1972, the Canyon King was launched with dignitaries from all over the state in attendance, including the Governor. Once the Canyon King project was completed, George sought out new adventures where he could put his fabrication and mechanical skills to work.
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, which profession required he be exact in assembling, installing, repairing, reassembling, and maintaining the mines or mills and all heavy equipment and infrastructure. It was in this profession that George excelled. George’s ability to assess a problem and see the solution, then repair, 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 he wanted to pursue his dream to become a commercial fisherman. Obviously, 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 began his career as a commercial fisherman fishing up and down the western seaboard chasing tuna and salmon. After a few years, and missing the mountains and desert of Moab, 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 he helped others when he was not scouting, hunting, fishing, or just traveling the countryside and mountains since he loved being in the outdoors.
Over the past twenty-five years, George made it a point to help anyone in need. He 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 who showed the desire, oftentimes making sure they had a beer (or two) or a “snort” to wet their throat during the discussions. The list is long of those George helped without any thought of payment or recompense, all he wanted was to be there for those that needed help. And that is how George 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 include Leslie Faught, Mark Simons, Amy Quayle, Kevan Beijan and Shawn Beijan. George is survived by thirteen grandchildren.
George elected to make his final resting place at the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Moab, Utah facing east so he could look at the red rock bluffs and the La Sal Mountains in the distance. In lieu of flowers, or if you want to just give back in some fashion, please consider making a donation to Grand County Hospice (www.mrhmoab.org) as they were wonderful in their compassion and care.
Tributes:So sorry to hear of George's passing. What a character..... many memories from childhood until adulthood. Probably the most vivid was when he worked. for my dad (Tex's River Cruises), many pictures of him on Canyon King, maiden voyage video dancing with my mom. He took me skiing a few times and even asked me to marry him one time!:) what a nut. I'm sorry he was so close in Moab and I never looked him up these last few years... life gets so busy. We lost my mom, Joy, on December 17 just a few days before George passed, she packed a lot into her 93 years. Thank God there are characters like George in the world it sure keeps life interesting. Hope life is treating his family well. Regards,
- Alice McClatchy BumgarnerDear Mark and all of George's family. Shawn told us of your loss and we want you to know that we are thinking of you at this sad time. It has been Many years since we were neighbors. Love,
- Bill & InalynAmy and rest of Georges family,I knew George when growing up in Price. He ended up married to my neighbor and friend Christine when I lived neighbors in Moab. Amy, you were named after my mom. Lost touch after U left Sake Lake. So sorry for your loss. Always thought fondly of George. My heartfelt condolences. May his memory be eternal.
- Judi BishopTo George's family: Very sad to hear of George passing. Moab has lost another true character. Just a great guy. Worked with him at the mines, then had the buffalo next door to him in Spanish Valley. Shared many a swig with him. Always a smile, a laugh you could hear a mile away. RIP George.
- Woody Marshall
PLEASE NOTE: Pictures and Tributes will be reviewed before being posted. We will post them ASAP, we appreciate your patience. PLEASE DON'T RESUBMIT.
© 2007-2013 Spanish Valley Mortuary