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Mark Thomas Simon, 72, passed away after a long illness early Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
Mark graduated from Sheboygan South High School in 1964 and played baseball at UW-La Crosse from 1965-1967. He then signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins during the summer of 1967, out of the Langsdorf League in Milwaukee. He graduated from UW-La Crosse in the spring of 1968 with a K-12 Physical Education Bachelor’s Degree and played baseball with the Minnesota Twins in the New York Penn League with the Auburn Twins the summer of 1968. Mark and Barb were married in the fall of 1968 before he went to spring training in March of 1969 and played with the Wisconsin Rapids Twins of the Midwest League.
Mark began his full-time teaching career with D.C. Everest Area School District in the fall of 1969, and primarily taught at Weston Elementary School. He began coaching JV baseball at DCE that next spring and continued as JV coach until 1988. Mark was named varsity baseball coach at DCE starting with the 1989 season and continued through the 2006 season. He led DCE to three State Tournament appearances (1993, 2002, 2004.) He led DCE to Division 1 State Runner-Up in 2004 and was named the Wisconsin State Coach of the Year. He had four players sign professional baseball contracts, several former players received Division 1 college scholarships, and numerous players participated at different levels of college baseball.
In 1984, Mark started the RSW Merchants adult semi-pro baseball team, which later became the Everest Merchants. This team gave the young men too old for legion baseball the opportunity to play in an organized league. He managed and coached this team until 2002 guiding the team to many WBA State Tournaments, capturing state titles in 1984, 1987, and 1996. He also organized and coached the RSW Legion baseball program during the summer months, from 1989-2002.
His meticulous maintenance and dedication to Simon Field over the years has turned it into one of the finest grass facilities in the state.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Sylvia Simon; his in-laws, Jake and Betty Skrobot; granddaughter, Simone Marie Chapman; and brothers-in-law, Dick LaPean and Skip Skrobot.
Mark and Barb celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this last fall, with their daughter Kris (Brad) Chapman, son Mike (Amy) Simon and four grandkids, Hayley and Payton Chapman and Emily and Drew Simon. His surviving siblings are Sue Ellen LaPean, John (Sherry) Simon, Linda (Mike) Vojtasko, Charlie (Sue) Simon, Jim Simon, Reed (Chris) Simon, Gail (Steve) Simon-Cass, sister-in-law Deb Skrobot, and many nieces, nephews, and their children. A special thank you to Linda for donating her kidney to Mark, a truly selfless and amazing gift.
Mark’s passion was baseball, but he cherished the time he was able to spend with his family and friends more than anything. Many memories were created in Manitowish Waters, St. George Island in Florida, and at Disney World over the years. He enjoyed trips with Barb and their friends touring the US, and breakfast meetings with the guys. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in all their different sporting events and activities. Mark also enjoyed spending time outdoors, hunting deer, ducks, geese, and turkeys and going trap shooting, he especially enjoyed trout fishing. He spent many hours planting trees, cutting firewood, putting in food plots, building deer stands, and developing his duck pond on the Simon 40. Mark has raised pheasants for years, started raising a few mallard ducks to release on his pond, and trained five different family dogs over the years.
The family would like to thank the dedicated personnel of Aspirus Wausau Hospital for their care and concern for Mark during his extended illness, especially the unwavering professionalism of Dr. Reilly, Dr. Bolan, and Dr. Strick.
The Funeral Mass will be held Monday, March 18, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6101 Zinser St., Weston, WI 54476. The Rev. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be held only on Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the church. The family would like to invite friends and relatives to a Celebration of Mark’s Life at Sconni’s Alehouse & Eatery (1239 Schofield Ave.) after the service until 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, any monetary donations made to the family will be used toward an organization that the family will be choosing at a later date.