February 8, 1946 - February 5, 2018
Born in Magyarpecska, Hungary
Resided in Monterey, California
Tom Simon passed away peacefully on Monday February 5, 2018 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
He was born in Magyarpécska, Hungary on February 8, 1946. There he began his life-long passion for soccer. He was a member of the Hungarian National Soccer Team, which went on to win the gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Later that year, he kissed his mother goodbye and departed on a bus to play a game in Austria. The bus returned without him as Tom had decided to defect. In 1982, he returned to visit his family and kiss his mother again.
Tom traveled from Austria to New York as a non-English speaker, where he was quickly embraced by the Hungarian-American community. He played soccer professionally around the country until he was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War. For his service, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He also received the Akos Szekely Memorial Medal, awarded to those of Hungarian descent who served in the United States military honorably. After his military service, he returned to the Monterey area which he had fallen in love with after being stationed at Fort Ord.
Tom co-owned and operated the Corral Club on Fremont Street in Monterey, after which he was employed by the Pebble Beach Company. He enjoyed serving his many friends and customers at Club XIX and The Tap Room for 36 years.
While his passion was for soccer, Tom also loved John Wayne movies; having a cheese danish at the Paris Bakery; and lunching at Fandango Restaurant. He also looked forward every year to the Concours d’Elegance.
Tom is survived by three daughters: Illona, Melissa and Monica; his former wife Martha; his brother Peter (in Hungary) and nieces and nephew. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Imre and Ilona, and his brother Imre.
Funeral mass will be celebrated on February 21st at the Carmel Mission Basilica at 10 a.m., with reception following at the Carmel Mission Ranch.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor Tom’s life and friendship by making a donation to the Land of the Free Foundation via www.landofthefreefoundation.org or at 13191 Crossroads Parkway N., 6th Floor, City of Industry, CA 91746-3497
Carmel, CA US 93921
City of Industry, California 91746-3497