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Friends remember Simcox as a 'champion of children'

September 13, 2000

Friends remember Simcox as a 'champion of children'



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


Kenneth William Simcox was a high school principal who was liked and admired by his co-workers, fellow administrators and students, say those who knew him.

Simcox, of 13909 N. Meadow Road, Hagerstown, died Sunday at Washington County Hospital. He was 65.

His worked at several posts for the Washington County Board of Education from 1959 until he retired in 1995.

After 11 years as a guidance counselor at South Hagerstown High School, Simcox made his first trip to the principal's office.

"I worked with Ken several times in my career," said Robert T. "Bo" Myers, principal at Hancock Middle-Senior High School. "He was always such a gracious man."

Simcox spent two years as principal at Hancock and he left his mark on that school, Myers said.

"He was always thinking of the kids," Myers said. "The kids always came first with Ken."

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Simcox was principal at E. Russell Hicks Middle School from 1976-1982, and at Williamsport High School from 1982-1988.

"He was a champion of children," said Walt Galbraith, a retired educator who worked with Simcox at Williamsport.

After working briefly at the main office, Simcox returned to the classroom as assistant principal at Clear Spring High School.

Terry Masters, former principal at Clear Spring High School, was associated with Simcox in a number of capacities.

"He was one of the finest men I ever met," Masters said. "He was sincere and honest ... you could trust him."

Perhaps it was those qualities that kids recognized and responded to over the years, Masters said. "He liked kids and they liked him."

After he retired from the public school system five years ago, Simcox continued to work with young people, first as principal of St. Maria Goretti High School and later as a volunteer.

Simcox and his wife, Rosemary, volunteered as a team at the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown and were highly regarded there.

"Ken and his wife were like a breath of fresh air in here," said Jeff Downin, executive director of the clinic.

Downin said Ken Simcox was dedicated. No job was too big or too small for him.

"He would help sort medications and he did some filing," Downin said. "And just recently he was starting to work on the reception desk with new patients."

Apparently Simcox felt strongly about his work there, too. A memorial donation plan has been set up for Community Free Clinic at 18 W. Franklin St.

Born in Chester, W.Va., he was a graduate of West Liberty State College and earned his master's degree at West Virginia University.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated today at 10 a.m. at St. Ann Catholic Church. Burial will be in Rest Haven Cemetery.

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