REM Award Honorees (2003) — Walter Simcock (Community Angel Award)

Walter Simcock and his escorts, two Waterville High School cheerleaders, at the awards ceremony.

Walter Simcock and his escorts, two Waterville High School cheerleaders, at the awards ceremony. (Click the photo to enlarge it.)

The REM Award Committee works all year to produce the REM Awards Ceremony. Early on we realized that volunteers are not the only ones who make the work of REM Partners possible. There are also those people who share their wealth to sustain these nonprofit organizations and give the volunteers a place to go. Walter Simcock helps many REM Partner organizations do just that! For his generosity we honor him with the first Community Angel Award.

Walter graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. in 1950. Before embarking on his career as a businessman, he scrubbed pots in a Cape Cod tourist resort and taught history for a year at Jaffrey High School in Jaffrey, N.H. It was also during this time that he married Mary Gardner, a nurse whom he had met on a blind date.

Seven years into that marriage, Mary and Walter moved to Waterville, when he bought Colonial Distributors, a recently founded beer distributorship that was up for sale. During their four decades in our town, both he and Mary were active in community affairs. Walter has been president of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and King Lion of the Waterville Lion’s Club. He has also given generously to the Waterville Opera House, the Alfond Youth Center, the South End Skate Board Park, Mt. Merici Academy, and REM. Mary volunteered in many community organizations, including the Waterville Women’s Club, the Zonta Club, the Salvation Army, the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen, the Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center, the Kotlas Connection, and the Mid-Maine Medical Center (now MaineGeneral Medical Center).

Now retired and 78 years young, Walter remains active. He trains three times a week at Champions and avidly follows the Red Sox and the New England Patriots. He also enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

Walter and Mary Simcock

Walter and Mary Simcock (Click the photo to enlarge it.)

Walter also continues to give to his community. Two weeks after the awards ceremony, Walter announced a gift of $50,000 to Mt. Merici to construct a playground in honor of Mary, who passed away in January 2002, after 49 years of marriage. The Catholic elementary school, a mere block from his Waterville home, educated all four of his children and four of his grandchildren. The nearly 3,000 square foot playground will feature slides, towers, climbing walls, and bridges. It will be constructed in the spring of 2004.

Some people are blessed to walk through life as partners, whether or not that partner is physically present. All that they do is enhanced by the other presence. When they work together they are awesome! Walter and Mary Simcock were such a couple. As we honor Walter, we remember Mary and their amazing partnership.

Note: Walter Simcock died at age 88 in January 2014 after a short illness.

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