Romeo "Si" Simonelli

Romeo "Si" Simonelli

PORTLAND - Romeo "Si" Simonelli was born Dec. 2, 1914 and died July 18, 2003 in Portland. He was the son of Adolfo and Virginia (Capitani) Simonelli of Portland.

He graduated from Grant High School in 1933, attended Linfield College on an athletic scholarship, then went on to Portland University. He was six months from graduating from the University of Oregon when war broke out.

He entered the U.S. Navy in 1940 and served aboard mine-sweepers in Bermuda and Greenland from 1941 to 1942. He was on submarine patrol, flying dirigibles off the coast of Texas and from a base in the Panama jungles from 1942 to 1943. He then became officer-in-charge of the "Lighter than Air" base in Lompoc, Calif., until the end of World War II and was released from the Navy at war's end.

Mr. Simonelli was recalled to duty for the Korean War and served as assistant secretary to the admiral at N.A.S. Barber's Point Hawaii from 1951 through 1953, when he left for Memphis, Tenn., and was in charge of training at the Naval Air Technical Training Center.

He worked briefly in the plywood business in Astoria and Medford, Ore., before going to work for Boeing Corporation as an engineer. He worked in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and at Cape Kennedy as an engineer at the U.S. Space Center.

Mr. Simonelli married Mary Lou Smith in Portland in 1941. She survives him at home in Portland. Also surviving are his sons and daughters-in-law Noel and Paula Simonelli and Kim and Judy Simonelli, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and his sisters Viola O'Donnell and Anita Tarbet of Calif.

The Simonellis made their home in Ocean Park for many years until recently when they moved to Portland. Memorial services will be held later in the summer in Ocean Park.

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