Rosalyn Wolf Simon
1930 - 2020
Rosalyn Wolf was born on November 26, 1930 in Mason City, IA to parents Bernice and Louis Wolf. She was an athletic and vivacious child, and was often the ringleader to her siblings Dick and Joanne in playing pranks on other family members, especially her grandfather “Foxy”. She was an outstanding musician, and upon graduation from high school enrolled at Ward-Belmont College, majoring in piano performance. However, she left college to marry the first great love of her life, Joseph S. Simon, at the age of 18. Joe and “Ro”, as she was known then, took up residence in Mason City and had five children: Lynne, Ruth, Caren, Peter, and John. Ro was a virtual whirlwind of activity while her children were young. When she found there was no pre-school daycare in town available for her children, she founded the Mother Goose Nursery School. She ensured that all five children learned to play musical instruments. They practiced daily (simultaneously!) in separate rooms from 7:30 am to 8:00 am while Ro prepared breakfast and lunches in the kitchen and unerringly called out corrections (“That’s an E-flat, Lynne!”). The family often performed together at community functions as “The Simon Foodelly Sacky-Wacky Band” with Joe on the drums, Ro on the piano, Lynne on the flute and piccolo, Ruth on the clarinet, Caren on the violin, Peter on the cornet, and John “conducting” (and later on the trombone). Ro also somehow found time to serve on the PTA, lead the children’s choir at the synagogue, and serve as a Girl Scout troop leader. In fact she established the first girl scout troop for migrant farm workers in Mason City. Ro was known far and wide as a gourmet cook, and friends counted themselves lucky indeed to be invited to one of her dinner soirees.
In 1968 the family moved to Champaign, IL, primarily so Ro could continue her education at the University of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, she and Joe divorced, and as a single parent, she provided most of the support for her children while finishing both her BS and Masters degree in social work. As part of her training, she worked with troubled teens at Cunningham Children’s Home, where she made many lifelong friendships. It was also during this time that she met the second great love of her life, Larry Stewart. Larry was manager of the local radio station WDWS and called the play-by-play for the Fighting Illini football and basketball teams.
A few years later, with four of her children out of the nest, Roz (as she was now known) moved with John to Fort Lauderdale, FL to begin her career in hospital social work. She eventually became Director of Social Services at Broward General Hospital, and later also at Coral Springs Medical Center. During this time Larry retired and joined her in Florida. They “eloped” and had a surprise party for their numerous friends to announce their marriage. Roz and Larry enjoyed many happy years in Florida together following Roz’s retirement, until their final move in 2006 to Camarillo, CA, where they resided in Leisure Village, close to her son Peter. Roz immediately became active in the Pleasant Valley Hospital volunteer auxiliary, and continued to enjoy cooking and entertaining friends and family with Larry until his passing in 2009. She was heartbroken, but was comforted by the presence of her beloved toy poodles: first Lili, and then Pixie, who became a favorite of the entire neighborhood. Roz continued to enjoy cooking and socializing until her move to Atria Las Posas senior community in December 2019, necessitated by her ongoing battle with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). On July 3, 2020 Roz suffered a stroke, and she passed away peacefully on July 16, 2020.
Roz is survived by her sister Joanne Weiner (Howard), her five children Lynne Ploetz, Ruth Reid, Caren Umbarger (Paul), Peter Simon (Pamela), and John Simon (Teresa), Larry's children Matthew and Deborah Stewart, and numerous grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Larry, and her brother Dick.
Roz’s family would like to express their sincere appreciation to all who helped with her care during her final time, especially the management and staff at Atria Las Posas, the staff at Neighbor Care Hospice, Dr. Sutton and his staff at Pacific Neuroscience Medical Group, and her wonderful neighbor Inga Marin.
In accordance with her wishes, Roz's ashes will be returned to the Atlantic Ocean at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, PPA Research and Education Fund (https://tinyurl.com/ppafund). Tributes and remembrances may be posted on the Perez Family Funeral Home website at https://perezfamilyfuneralhome.com.