James L. Simon, age 85 of Hibbing, MN, passed away on October 6, 2021, at the
St. Cloud Hospital. Jim was born in Menomonie, WI on March 15, 1936, to
Leonard and Frances (Gerbich) Simon. He graduated from Buhl High School in
1954 and went on to serve his country in the United States Army during the
Korean War. Jim attended both Wisconsin State College at River Falls and St.
Cloud State University and later attained his master’s degree in education at
Bemidji State University. He met the love of his life, Marilyn Toscano and they
were married in 1959. They moved to Crookston, Minnesota in 1965 where he
worked as a dedicated science teacher and coach. In Crookston, he was the Head
Baseball Coach for 31 years and in 1995 won the Minnesota State Class A
Tournament, which was the highlight of his coaching career. Jim has a baseball
field in Crookston named in his honor. He was also an assistant football coach for
most of his career and they won a state championship in 1980. He was inducted
into the Crookston Central High School athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. He was
also a well-known basketball official in northwest Minnesota. He coached the
Crookston American Legion Post 20 Baseball Team for 20 plus years. He was
affectionately known as OJ or Sarge to many of his ballplayers. Jim retired in
1996 and soon after, moved back to the Iron Range with Marilyn. For over 20
years, they traveled to and wintered in Mesa, AZ. Jim was an avid bowler,
fisherman and card player. He enjoyed spending time doing puzzles, including
sudoku and crossword. Jim was heavily involved with the Crookston American
Legion, was an Elk’s Lodge member and served as the Exalted Ruler of the
Crookston Lodge for a one-year term. He was also a member of the Fraternal
Order of Eagles and the Knights of Columbus.
Jim is survived by his wife; Marilyn of Hibbing, MN, his son; David (Kathy)
Simon of Minnesota City, MN and grandson Greg Simon of Austin, TX; his
daughter Kathy (Tim) Myran of Ham Lake, MN and grandson’s Ben Myran of
White Bear Lake, MN and Shay Myran of St. Louis Park, MN; brother; Hank
(Bev) Simon of Zimmerman, MN, sister-in-law; Diana Simon of Waterloo, IA
brother-in-law, Tom Toscano of Hibbing; brother-in-law, Jerry Spotts of Hibbing;
sister-in-law, Kay (Jack) Kapla of Hibbing. He is preceded in death by his
parents; Leonard and Frances and brother; Larry Simon.
A private family service will take place at a later date with internment at the
Maple Hill Columbarium.
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