Sylvia Gene Fogle Simison passed away on April 1 in her beloved La Cañada home that she and her late husband, architect Jack H. Simison, built in 1947.
She was born on Aug. 2, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Samuel and Crystal Fogle, the oldest of two girls. After finishing high school, she attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating with degrees in accounting and engineering. While working to help with the war effort at the university, she met her husband-to-be Jack. They were married a year later in April 1947. She and Jack moved to Pasadena and soon after bought a lot in La Cañada where they started to build their forever home and where she lived until her passing.
Sylvia was a past member of Shakespeare Juniors, past president of Women’s Architectural League of Pasadena and Architectural League California. She volunteered in the La Cañada schools and also served as PTA president and Girl Scout leader.
During her children’s high school years Sylvia worked at Parson’s Engineering in Pasadena as well as in Jack’s office. She was a Sunday school teacher at the Church of the Lighted Window as well as a member of the Assistance League of La Cañada since 1969.
She and Jack with partners developed and built the receiving towers on Mount Wilson (Comfac, Inc.) working as treasurer and part time secretary. She also worked as treasurer of Southern California Adding Machine Co. and served many years as secretary of the La Taza Corporation in her neighborhood. Sylvia and Jack worked side by side for decades in their architectural office on Foothill Boulevard that also served as headquarters for Comfac, Inc.
Sylvia had incomparable joy for life, her faith, her family and friends and she lived to the fullest. She loved traveling, hosting family parties, tennis and her dogs. She and Jack were married 62 years until his passing in 2009.
Her faith in God and her garden were also her passions and her house and garden were always the gathering place for family and friends.
She leaves behind three children: Dayl (Simison) Kiesendahl and husband Jeff of La Cañada, Eric Simison and wife Jennifer of La Verne, Brett Simison and wife Ingrid of Maui; eight grandchildren: Rion Zimmerman, Kori Icardo, Brittny Aspey, Jason Simison, Jolyn Thompson, Travis Simison, Erin Rose and Crystal Judd and 22 great grandchildren.
A public memorial service will be held on July 9 at 2 p.m. at the Congregational Church in La Cañada. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Hansi Ministries, P.O. Box 5471, Kailu Kona, Hawaii, 96745 or to the Pasadena Humane Society.