January 3, 1943 - June 25, 2021
Fred Simmermon passed away on Friday, June 25th, 2021 after a struggle with ALS. He was 78 years old.
Fred was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Edward and Juanita Simmermon. He enjoyed a truly free-range childhood fishing, catching snakes and snapping turtles – eventually becoming a formidable student athlete at Walnut Hills High School. Fred attended Miami University (Ohio), earned a Master’s degree in geography and became an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.
During his 20-year career at the CIA, Fred contributed to the first official atlas of China in preparation for Richard Nixon’s historic visit and worked as the first liaison between the CIA and the Navy.
The CIA honed his analytical mind but exhausted his patience with office work. He left the agency to start a new career as a home inspector in Norfolk, VA, founding HomePro Inspection Services in 1988. Fred became a legend among home inspectors, real estate agents and contractors in Hampton Roads, known widely for his thoroughness, honesty and integrity. He was a founding member of the Virginia Association of Real Estate Inspectors.
When asked why he left a high-status career in national intelligence to run a small business in the real estate industry, he said “Well, I reached a point where I had to choose between my career and my family. I chose wisely.”
One of his proudest achievements was co-coaching his daughter’s basketball team “Fred’s Dukes” with his close friend Fred Kirsch.
Fred experienced no pleasure greater than sharing a plate of blueberry pancakes with his family in a national park, savoring the meal and anticipating a day of hiking.
Macular degeneration took his eyesight, eventually leaving him blind.
He was a passionate woodworker, teaching himself to make cutting boards and toys for his grandchildren in a wood shop he set up for himself years after being declared legally blind.
He was a spectacular storyteller, a great friend, father, and husband who knew how to truly listen. In a world obsessed with status, appearances and self-promotion, Fred stood for dignity, humility and moral certainty. He never bragged or complained, even as his eyesight faded and ALS stole his physical independence. He taught everyone he met by his example, and never once stopped caring for others.
He is survived by his wife Sandra Simmermon, son Jeff Simmermon and his fiancee Erika Bruchhausen, daughter Jessica Gillette and son-in-law Adam Gillette, grandchildren Hayley and Gavin Gillette, niece Linda Laney and nephews Tom and Bill Laney and brother-in-law Dave Laney. His sister Kay Laney predeceased him. He loved them all completely and unquestioningly, and never gave them a reason to think that he didn’t.
A service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church, 7305 Hampton Blvd in Norfolk on Friday, July 9th at 2PM.
There are currently no services
No fund set up at this time.>