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Obituary: Dr. William Emile Simon, former faculty member

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 24, 2024 at 10:00 AM in St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Carencro for Dr. William E. Simon, 83, who passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at his residence in Lafayette with his family by his side.

Entombment will be in St. Peter’s Mausoleum.

Reverend Christopher Cambre, Pastor of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church, will be the Celebrant of the Mass.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2024 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM . A Rosary will be prayed on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Visitation will continue on Monday from 8:00 AM until time of services.

He was preceded in death by his parents Willie and Evangeline Arceneaux Simon, and grandparents Emile Galbert and Rose Mouton Arceneaux of Carencro, and Auguste and Helen Vincent Simon of Ridge. Simon, Arceneaux and Mouton ancestors are direct from Nova Scotia (came to Acadiana in 1658), and Jean Gentil from Huisseaux sur Cosson (pre’ du Blois), Orleans, France (came to teach five languages at Jefferson College, now Manresa Retreat House, Convent LA, St. James Parish, 1853).

Survivors include his loving wife Elaine Therese Cochennic Simon; three children, John Joseph Simon and Marie Evangeline Simon of Lafayette, and Catherine Marie Simon of Los Angeles, CA; five grandchildren, Forest Andrew and Joseph William Simon of Colorado Springs, CO; Jean Pierre LaHaye and Sophia Marie Saussy with sons Nathan William Saussy, Kullen Paul LaHaye and Vera Mae LaHaye all of Lafayette, and Nina Anne Saussy and Caroline Elaine Saussy of Maui, HI.

A resident of Lafayette from 1940-63, he graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL), at which time he and Elaine were married in 1963 in Golden Meadow, LA. They then moved to Houston, TX where he joined NASA at the former Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), later the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC). While working in the Apollo Program, he earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1970 from the University of Houston.

He retired from NASA in 1990 after 27 years of service, and began a teaching career spanning 31 years, first as Professor and Head of Mechanical Engineering at Lamar University in Beaumont, and later in that same capacity from 1996-2007 at USL (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette or UL Lafayette). After stepping down as department head, he continued teaching classes in heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and senior design projects, and advising students until his retirement from the university in August 2021.

He and his family lived in his Arceneaux ancestral property on Louis Arceneaux Rd. in Lafayette. His NASA career spanned the Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, with technical and administrative responsibilities in fuel cell and cryogenic systems development, and other advanced energy conversion systems at that time being considered for the Space Station; multidiscipline advanced development technology management, and large project management. He was also involved in the development of the integrated cryogenic propellant system for the Space Shuttle Orbiter, and as Fuel Cell Section Chief and later Deputy Chief of the Energy Systems Branch, he subsequently served in the Space Station Projects Office as Head of the Advanced Development Office, and later as deputy chief of the JSC Space Station Projects Office until his retirement from NASA in 1990. With a considerable number of publications and technical notes in the areas of aerospace and advanced energy conversion, he was a registered professional engineer in the states of Louisiana and Texas, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Louisiana Engineering Society (LES) in which he was a recipient of the 1998 James M. Todd Technological Accomplishment Award. He was a member of many other technical and honor societies, including the International ASME Department Heads Committee in which he served as Chairman for two years. During his academic career he loved teaching and telling “NASA stories,” his favorite being his involvement in the Apollo 13 incident, and using his aerospace experience in teaching his favorite thermal systems design courses. He also enjoyed helping students succeed and obtain gainful employment in the engineering field, and he has received the Outstanding Advisor Award over many years.

His hobbies throughout life included Boy Scouts (he was an Eagle Scout), with trips to the national Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM both as a boy and later as a scout leader with his son John, and to the Boy Scout High Adventure Quetico- Superior Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. He and the family were also involved in skeet shooting, duck hunting, breeding and training Labrador Retrievers, serving as Treasurer of the Lone Star Retriever Club in Houston, and manager of the JSC Skeet Club. He loved reading and usually had four types of books and authors always in process: spiritual (e.g., Michael O’Brien, or Carmelite formation literature), political (e.g., Victor David Hansen), historical (Champlain, on the founding of Nova Scotia), and a historical fiction tome from some of his favorites (Louis L’Amour, James Michener or Elmer Kelton). He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

Pallbearers will be John Joseph Simon, Forest Andrew Simon, Joseph William Simon, JP LaHaye, Nathan William Saussy and Kullen Paul LaHaye

As a member of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Carencro, he served with his wife as a Eucharistic Minister to the Homebound, and was a member of the Holy Nolumans BAs meMberS of thie ay teet tes, Province of of host Pure Heart of Mary #1903, he and Elaine enjoyed reading and praying together.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lay Carmelite Community #1903, Mrs. Marianne Kirk, 209 Highland Drive, Lafayette, LA; to the Discalced Carmelite Sisters, 1250 Carmel Drive Lafayette, LA 70501, to St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church (P.O. Box 40, Carencro, LA 70520) or to any Catholic charity (e.g., Cross Catholic).

View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com .

Martin and Castille-DOWNTOWN, 330 St. Landry Street, Lafayette, LA 70506 337-234-2311.

Posted on www.athleticnetwork.net on June 23, 2024.