V W Bro Simon Thoday PGSwdB, PDepPGM – Eulogy given by W Bro Bill Dolman ProvGChap

Friday 14th September

Eulogy given by W Bro Bill Dolman ProvGChap

What can I tell you about Simon that you don’t already know.

Well, he was born in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton weighing in at 1 lb.15 ozs ! The doctor put him to one side saying “we must attend to Margaret, his mother, he is too small to survive”. The midwife, however, had other ideas and took Simon under her wing and after 4 months in an incubator he was allowed home.

In 1949 without all the advanced equipment that we have today it was a miracle that he survived and grew into the healthy Simon we all knew.

Having lived in Tettenhall for about 6 years the family then moved to Stoke on Trent where he met his first life long friend John Fearns who lived in the same street and who is here with us today. When Simon was 13 the family moved to Hayes in Middlesex where he went to Hayes Grammar School and met his second life long friend, Martin Smith, who is also here today. On his first day at school, to his horror, he found that he was the only boy in short trousers, the norm in the Midlands but not in the south and that they played rugby and not football!

After leaving school at 16 Simon went to work for the construction company George Wimpey as an indentured trainee.
Having completed his 4 years training he was then called in to see the big boss to be told to leave Wimpey’s because he would always be thought of as “Simon the young trainee” and that he needed to go out into the big wide world. He then worked for John Mowlem’s and Crest Engineering. Fed up with the traffic on the North Circular Road he said to Pam, how do you fancy going round Europe ? She agreed so he bought a Land Rover and a caravan and off they went to Europe for six months. 6 years later, they came back to England from Holland because of the children’s schooling. While in Holland Simon worked for Aramco, The Arabian American Oil Company, and travelled abroad to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran. He worked as a Cost Engineer and oversaw the laying of large scale pipelines for gas and oil.

After coming back to England Simon worked for IMEG, the International Management Engineering Group, and he remained with them for the rest of his career until he retired two years ago. He travelled to Columbia and Tulsa in America for IMEG and a few of his work colleagues are also with us today.

Well, that was his working life, which he thoroughly enjoyed, visiting many countries and making many friends.

But, what about his personal life. He met Pam in 1968 at their local Youth Club. Pam ran a 7 girl folk group and Megan, one of the singers, brought Simon along to play the guitar. The rest is history, as they say, and they were married in December of 1970, the start of 47 years of happiness together.

They bought a maisonette in Hayes and lived there for 5 years before their trip to Europe. Their lovely neighbours Pat, Tony and their daughter Karen are with us today. Simon and Pam went on to have two daughters, Jayne and Jenny and after returning from Holland they moved to Binfield in Berkshire and have lived in their current house for 33 years where they brought up their family and had a lovely family life. Jayne and Jenny went onto marry and Simon was blessed to have 3 grandsons, Harry, Theo and Rory. He is now reunited with Rory in Heaven. He relished spending time with Harry and Theo, reading to them, playing board games, fishing and indulging in midnight feasts with them.

Simon’s love for his family never wavered, he adored his girls and his grandsons and loved his son-in-law, Reg, like his own son.

He had an older brother Robert who sadly died in 2004. He is survived by his much loved sister, Cecilia, his brother-in-law Chris and his step- mother Evelyn.

He had a great love of Formula 1, Stoke City Football Club, DIY and car mechanics, furniture restoration, blues and folk music, Steeleye Span, watches, whisky and meerkats! He enjoyed his holidays in France either camping or in their new caravan. He loved wine gums; only Dave Etheridge, a work colleague, knows why they called them cabbages! He was a legend at making Spaghetti Bolognese and the king of BBQs.

Simon was also a Freeman of the City of London of which he was very proud. Pam, Jayne and Jenny gave him his own flock of sheep complete with sheep dog so that he could walk them over London Bridge if he chose to, being plastic farm animals he could just put them in his pocket to make it easier!

Simon also had a great love of his Masonic life and all the people he came to know over the 46 years that he was in the fraternity. It played a huge part in his life and he was very proud to be a Freemason.

As you know Simon became ill in December of 2016 when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Unbeknown to us it was all part of the illness and he was eventually told in August 2017 that he had inoperable cancer. The way in which he accepted this news was absolutely astonishing and he was very brave until the end.

He had a lovely sense of humour. When the nurses used to hoist him from the chair onto the bed he always called out “the eagle has landed”!

He was loved by all the staff in the hospital, the hospice and the home for his twinkly eyes and his lovely smile. He never complained and always appreciated everything that was done for him. He was amazing.

I could go on forever with lots of little stories about Simon but we would be here all day. One thing that has stood out though is that he was highly respected as a true gentleman and loved by many. He touched so many peoples’ lives and for that we are eternally grateful.

He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and he will be missed terribly, he was much loved and will never be forgotten.

Thank you Simon for all your love, your friendship, your loyalty and for 47 wonderful years together and for everything that you gave to our family.

To read A Thank You Message from Pam Thoday click HERE

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