Obituary: Arthur ‘Skip’ Simes, 77, of Casa Grande, AZ

Arthur ‘Skip’ Simes, 77, Casa Grande, AZ

Skip passed away on January 21, 2024 at 3:17 p.m. [Irish until the end] surrounded by loved ones at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. After two successful rounds of lymphoma and remission over the last 13 years, Skip recently faced the return of a very aggressive and rare form of Lymphoma [Burkitt Lymphoma], that was made impossible to treat due to kidney failure.

Arthur was born on January 8, 1947 to Irene + Arthur Simes in Woodstock, Illinois. In 1949 the family welcomed Skip’s sister, Kathleen [Kathi]. Skip grew up in Hebron with a wonderful group of friends that would remain friends for life. In fact, in high school, he got his nickname of “Mr. Mayor.” As most of the other kids were wearing jeans and shirts, Skip would show up in his wing-tip shoes and cuffed pants. Always dressed the part!

In 1966, Skip graduated from Alden-Hebron High School where he was president of his class, then attended two years at Elgin College before beginning his journey at the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science where he graduated in 1969.

After graduating Mortuary School, Skip began his professional career of serving families in their time of need. He was thoughtful, kind, compassionate and always professional, understanding the magnitude of how his work would impact people during their time of greatest sorrow. Skip began working for others as he gained experience to ultimately own and operate his own funeral homes in Rochelle and Ashton, Illinois. In 1986, after deciding he could no longer take Midwest winters, he moved to Arizona. It wasn’t long before he began building Simes Mortuaries, first in beautiful Coolidge and Florence, along with Valley Memorial Park cemetery. Then, expanding to Casa Grande.

In 2009, Skip sold his businesses and began retirement where he had all the time in the world to have coffee with his friends at the doughnut shop, go to his favorite hangout Tags, meet friends for breakfast or lunch and do his near daily strolls through Walmart.

Skip knew how important it was to give back to the community. He spent many years involved with the Casa Grande Rotary Club, as members [and sometimes President] of the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, Compassas Hospice, the Hospice
Charitable Fund of Central Arizona, and the Chamber of Commerce. Skip also was part of the Jesters and always enjoyed those trips that brought lots of laughter, some shenanigans and always a good time.

The two things Skip loved most in this world were his family and ice cream, with his friends coming in as a clear third. Most specifically Culver’s hot fudge sundaes. Sometimes being known for having two or three at a time. Eating ice cream with the
grandchildren was always a highlight of any visit. In fact, the last thing that Skip asked for, after telling us all how much he loved us, was ice cream. His wife, Laura moved mountains to get that ice cream up to his room, and Kim proudly helped him enjoy one last round of chocolate ice cream.

Skip is survived by his sister, Kathi [husband, Keith] Olson of Babcock Ranch, FL, his daughter Kim Simes [wife, Dr. Robin Fox] and their two children, Brennan + Sanibel Fox-Simes of Whitewater, Wisconsin, his wife Laura Simes of Casa Grande and her four children [Nathaly, Rene, Raul + Marcela] and their families. He is also survived by several other relatives and dear friends. And of course, his faithful friend and lapdog Chino. Throughout his life, Skip loved and was loved by many, including his first wife and mother of his daughter, Joan Simes of Whitewater, Wisconsin and his second wife, Gail Pelovsky of Payson, Arizona.

The family would like to thank Dr. Clayton Polowy, Dr. Kanwardeep Sachdeva, family friend and Dr. Rob Sawyer, and the team at Banner Desert Medical Center, with special appreciation for the amazing nursing staff, especially Mark + Amber who helped us through the final hours with the utmost care + compassion.

Visitation Thursday, January 25th, 5-7 p.m. Cole & Maud Coolidge Chapel, 541 W. Coolidge Avenue; Visitation Friday, January 26th, 5-7 p.m. J Warren Cole & Maud The Gardens Chapel, 525 N. Peart Road, Casa Grande; Funeral Services Saturday, January
27th, 10:00 a.m., Central Lutheran Church, 12921 S. Sunland Gin Road, Arizona City; interment to follow services in Heritage Valley Memorial Park, 410 W. Roosevelt Road, Coolidge.

Because we are certain Skip would absolutely not want a winter service in Illinois, there will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, April 13th.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Hospice Charitable Fund of Central Arizona. They can be made online here or mailed to PO Box 11859, Casa Grande, AZ, 85130-1859

Skip will be dearly missed. If you knew Skip, he probably checked in on you often. During his recent hospitalization it became apparent how many people he reached out to on a regular basis to make sure they were okay. This was his way of showing his love for the people in his life, To honor his memory – check in on your family and friends and like Skip, do it often and with great care and concern.

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