H. Robert Simon, founder of X-ray chemical business, dies

H. Robert "Sonny" Simon, a Baltimore County lawyer and businessman, died Oct. 4 of a heart attack at his Hunt Valley home. He was 83.

The son of Jewish immigrants, Mr. Simon was born and raised in Patterson, N.J. After the death of his mother when he was 9, he and his brother were placed in an orphanage.

Mr. Simon was a graduate of Weequahic High School, and during World War II, he enlisted in the Army and fought in the campaigns for Saipan and Peleliu.

Because of his wartime experiences, Mr. Simon supported various veterans organizations during his life.

After the war, Mr. Simon enrolled at Rutgers University on the G.I. Bill, where he earned a bachelor's degree, and later graduated from what is now the University of Baltimore Law School.

In 1955, he founded H.R. Simon & Co., an X-ray chemical business that has since grown into an international company.

Jason Simon, a son who lives in Forest Hill, is the company's president, while Mr. Simon was chairman of the board at his death.

Mr. Simon, who also maintained a general law practice in Hunt Valley, had not retired at his death.

Lisa Simon, a daughter who lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, said her father's favorite expressions were "Hope springs eternal" and "No matter how hard life knocks you down, get off your butt and keep on going."

Mr. Simon's philanthropic interests included Fisher House, which supports families of wounded soldiers, the Maryland Food Bank and the Alzheimer's Association.

Mr. Simon and his wife of 50 years, the former Karen Larsen, were world travelers.

Services were Oct. 8.

In addition to his wife, son and daughter, Mr. Simon is survived by another son, Jon Simon of Baldwin; another daughter, Celeste Ryder of Santa Fe, N.M.; a brother, Ben Simon of Reading, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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