Thomas Francis Simon, 71, of Jefferson City, died Sunday, November 18, 2012, at Capital Region Medical Center.
He was born on April 22, 1941, in Brentwood, Mo., the son of the late Robert J. and Eleanor (McCann) Simon.
Mr. Simon attended St. Mary Magdalen Grade School, Mercy High School, and received his Juris Doctoris degree from St. Louis University Law School in 1965.
He was united in marriage on February 14, 2008, in Jefferson City, to Diane Marie Hanson Scherling who still survives.
Mr. Simon was employed as vice president and general counsel for General Mutual Insurance Company, overseeing the companys St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., areas. In 1968, he joined Monsanto Corporation as a corporate lawyer specializing in confidentiality, licensing and trademark contracts. In March 1971, he took a leave of absence from Monsanto to work as the grant administrator for the newly formed Missouri Law Enforcement Administration.
Mr. Simon then accepted the position of Chief Clerk of the Missouri Supreme Court in 1972 from which he retired in 2011 after nearly 40 years as the clerk. Mr. Simon was the longest serving high-court clerk in the United States at the time of his retirement. Since 1972, Mr. Simon has been the driving force behind the Missouris court system, helping shape its budget and the legislation that affects it.
Mr. Simons duties as clerk encompassed many activities. As clerk, Mr. Simon oversaw all of the Courts internal administrative functions, supervised the planning and administrative direction of the Judicial Conference of Missouri, and supervised the admission of new attorneys to The Missouri Bar, the organization of all attorneys licensed in Missouri. In his capacity as treasurer of the state board of law examiners, he supervised the two bar examinations held each year. In his capacity as ex officio treasurer of The Missouri Bar and its advisory committee, he was responsible for collecting annual attorney enrollment fees, distributing bar membership cards to attorneys, maintaining the official records of The Missouri Bar and the bar fund, preparing annual financial reports, and conducting annual elections for The Missouri Bar board of governors. In addition, Mr. Simon was a charter member of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks, organized in 1973 to improve the skill and knowledge required of those performing the duties of appellate court clerks by conferences, seminars or other educational programs; to promote and improve the contribution of the offices of appellate court clerks within the area of effective court administration; and to maintain facilities for the collection and dissemination of information and ideas with regard to the operation and improvement of the offices of appellate court clerks.
As the registered lobbyist for the Judicial Conference of Missouri (the organization of all the states judges and commissioners), Mr. Simon was instrumental in the process throughout the 1970s to reform the judiciary, culminating in the legislatures passage of a constitutional amendment approved by the states voters in August 1976.
Other survivors include: four children, Susan Becker, Leawood, Kansas; Joseph Simon, St. Louis; Keith (Christine) Simon, Columbia; Christina Simon, Austin, Texas; one step-daughter, Krystle Scherling, Kansas City; eight grandchildren; two siblings, Joanne (Albert) Mermelstein, Columbia; Robert Simon, St. Louis; and five nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 24, 2012, at St. Peter Catholic Church with the Rev. Gregory C. Meystrik officiating.
Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the Cole County Historical Society.
Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Those wishing to email tributes or condolences to the family may do so at the www.dulletrimble.com website.
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