Charles Simonds, 85, Business Executive, Loved Fine Art, Spy Novels


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Charles Sprague Simonds, 85, a resident of New Canaan, formerly of Darien, Westport, Key West, Florida, and Newport, Rhode Island, died peacefully on July 2, 2019, in New Canaan.

ObitCharlie as he was known, was born on Feb. 20, 1934 in Boston to the late Daniel Simonds and Elizabeth Sprague Simonds Stout. He was the devoted husband of Michelle R. Hubbard-Simonds of New Canaan.

He was a graduate of the Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts and Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in art history, Class of ’60, and Harvard Business School, with an MBA in  1964.

He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1953 to 1956 as an OD, 2nd lieutenant, forward guard battalion chief. He was stationed in San Diego, Okinawa, Japan and Seoul, (South) Korea. He was also a member of the Laurentian Club, Triton Club, and Potatuck Club.

an obituary from Hoyt Funeral Home

After graduate school he worked briefly for McKinsey and Company in New York prior to assuming a role as president and chairman of the RAE Motor Corporation in Illinois, that, under his stewardship, advanced the technology for small motors in the use of new applications including the first electric wheelchair and the first electric pencil sharpener.

Charlie had a deep appreciation for fine art and its history. He collected art and visited art museums his entire life, a hobby influenced by his mother.

Later in life, Charlie received his master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology from the California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and maintained a private practice for a brief time in Connecticut. He nurtured a life-long love affair with spy novels and the New York Times.

In addition to his beloved wife, Charlie leaves behind his sister and brother-in-law, Holly “T-ian” and Jake Callery of Vermont; and a half-sister, Lansing Simonds of California. He was a loving father to his children Christopher L. Simonds of Wyoming; C. Sprague Simonds, Jr. of Virginia; Reade H. Simonds of Stamford; Melissa Simonds of Rhode Island.

He also leaves behind his grandchildren: Anna (Michael) Glennon; Natalie, Sean and William Simonds; Carlyn and Christopher Vachow; a great granddaughter, Helen Glennon; and two step-daughters: Kelsey Hubbard (Topher) Rollinson of Connecticut, and Stephanie A. Hubbard of California; and two step-grandchildren: Paget and Hunter Rollinson.

A Memorial Service is planned for late September or October in Newport, Rhode Island.

For online condolences and directions, visit the Hoyt Funeral Home website.

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