Harold Glen Simms, of Marshfield, passed away on Sept. 14, 2018. Harold was born on Sept. 27, 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the only child of William Ernest Simms, of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Ruby Luella Pentz, of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Harold was raised in Braintree and went through their public school system, graduating from Braintree High School in 1943. He spent a half-year at Tufts College in Medford, majoring in Engineering. During World War II, Harold was drafted by the US Army in 1943, sent to Europe with the 83rd Infantry Division as a bugler and served two years. Harold earned five battle stars, a bronze star and a Purple Heart. Following the war, he returned to Tufts and completed a BS in Civil Engineering in 1949.
Harold traveled to Sunbury, Pennsylvania for a job in the summer of ’49 with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He subsequently applied to MIT where he was accepted for admission that fall, entering their naval architecture program. After one year at MIT, Harold decided to work for his father at Simms Brothers Inc., building pleasure yachts, navy mine sweepers and crash boats.
Harold met the love of his life, Jean Elizabeth Stephenson, on a blind date that a mutual friend set up in May, 1952. They were married on April 11, 1953 in New Britain, CT and then settled in Braintree Highlands, MA.
Harold worked at Simms Brothers Inc. from 1950 to 1957 in Dorchester. The state seized the land through eminent domain in order to build the Southeast Expressway, forcing the yacht yard out of business. He and his family then moved to Jacksonville, Florida where Harold, along with his father and uncle, took over an established marina and repaired yachts for four and a half years. The family returned to Massachusetts in 1961, settling in Norwell. The Simms Brothers bought the Wheeler Boatyard in Scituate and renamed it to Simms Yacht Yard. They sold the business in the late ‘70’s and Harold conducted a marine survey service for a brief time. He then became a partner at Duffy Travel Agency in Hingham for two years before becoming a partner at Allen Goodwin Music in Harvard Square for several years. Harold retired in 1988.
Harold’s hobbies included photography and genealogy. He served on the Norwell School Committee for 12 years and was chairman for two years of the South Shore Camera Club in Quincy. He also served as an active member of the Yankee Chapter of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) for three years. Harold developed a retirement hobby of family history writing. He wrote three books after the age of 70. The first was about Amos Pentz, his grandfather and a well-known shipbuilder of Nova Scotia. The second was on his father, William E. Simms, a well-known yacht builder and a master builder of approximately 80 boats. The third was on Harold’s personal experiences in World War II.
Harold’s wife, Jean, preceded him in death in May 2012. He is survived by his four children, David (Maureen); Paul (Cindy); William (Patti) and Nathan (Patty); 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 from 10-12 noon in McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home, 30 Central St. (off Rt. 123, near State Police Barracks), Norwell Center, followed by a service at the funeral home at 12 noon. Interment Couch Cemetery, Marshfield at 1 pm. Harold requested no flowers. Donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation www.parkinson.org in memory of his loving wife.