I was very fortunate to have been able to attend Shep Simons’ funeral and listen to wonderful stories about my devoted, dedicated, and optimistic friend.
I first met Shep in 1945 when I was 15 years old. At that time, I belonged to Lynn AZA No. 471 at the JCC on Market Street. Arnold Kline, Harvey Levin, Chuck Shapiro, Donny Friedman, and I with so many others greatly benefited from the mentorship of Shep and Bob Harris. These two guys worked night and day trying to build our character. They were so instrumental in making sure my friends and I became good citizens, setting us out on the right track in life.
About 10 years ago, Shep introduced Jake Segal when he was honored for his work with Israel Bonds. When Jake told me that Shep was going to introduce him, I called Jake and told him that most of our community did not know how important Shep was in advising teenagers in the 1940s and 1950s. Jake gave me three minutes at that event so I could tell people how much Shep had done to shape our community.
I can still see Shep’s influence in the way Arnold Kline, Jake Segal, and I still do all we can to support the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, and hopefully inspire the younger generation to continue to work to make the JCC a wonderful place to be.
Shep was the most optimistic person I knew, and he always made us feel very important.
He once told me I was going to be better than Harry Agganis.
How wrong he was, but he made me feel so good. I loved Shep Simons.
Jack Stahl, Lynn