F. Lester Simon Jr., Was An Executive With Phh

July 30, 2009|By Frederick N. Rassmussen

F. Lester Simon Jr., a retired Peterson, Howell and Heather executive who enjoyed photography and painting, died Friday at St. Joseph Medical Center of complications from a fall. He was 91.

Mr. Simon was born in Baltimore and raised in Windsor Hills. He was a 1935 graduate of Forest Park High School and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1939.

During World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the Pacific aboard the USS Sabine, a fleet oiler that had been built and launched at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point shipyard.

Discharged in 1946, Mr. Simon went to work for the Baltimore fleet leasing firm in 1949, where he rose to become vice president of personnel and general services.

During his 27-year tenure at PHH, Mr. Simon was responsible for developing the company's personnel policies and practices, including its employee benefit programs.

After retiring, he was named a director of PDP Group, a brokerage firm that specialized in insurance and insurance tracking services for automobile dealers and leasing firms.

His professional memberships included serving as president of the PHH Foundation and a member of the Baltimore chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. He was also a member of Chesapeake Toastmasters.

A longtime resident of the Hampton neighborhood of Baltimore County, Mr. Simon also maintained a winter home in Longboat Key, Fla., where he enjoyed painting watercolors and creating pastel portraits from photographs.

He was an avid photographer and liked photographing birds and creating ornithological slideshows, which he presented to various organizations.

Mr. Simon was a member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society and Sun Coast Watercolor Society, and was a former member of the board of the Baltimore Bird Club.

He was also a member of the Baltimore Country Club, where he played bridge.

"One of his favorite things was going out to the Valley Inn to eat. He first went there in 1938," said a nephew, Chris Wilson of Baltimore.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Peaceful Alternatives, 2325 York Road, Timonium.

Also surviving are his wife of 42 years, the former Mary Elizabeth "Libby" Eatmon. A son, Randolph Simon, died in 1977.

- Frederick N. Rassmussen

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