In memoriam: Jeff Simonoff, No. 1 at EORA and thousands of hearts everywhere

Jeff Simonoff, one of the founding members of the Eastern Outdoor Reps Association (EORA), passed away on Sunday, Sept. 20. He had gone to the hospital earlier in the day, according to an email from Debbie Motz, EORA’s executive director, as he was not feeling well. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack while in the hospital. “His heart was just tired,” Motz said in the email.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Jeff Simonoff, one of the founding members of the Eastern Outdoor Reps Association (EORA), passed away on Sunday, Sept. 20. He had gone to the hospital earlier in the day, according to an email from Debbie Motz, EORA’s executive director, as he was not feeling well. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack while in the hospital. “His heart was just tired,” Motz said in the email.

Simonoff was one of 10 founding members of EORA, which began in 1979. Then, the association was incorporated in New York (because another founding member, Eric Cleveland had his New York offices in the same building as an attorney) and its intentions were humble and small. Today, EORA boasts nearly a half-million dollar operating budget, we were told, and has more than 400 members.

A heartfelt tribute to this giant of a man continues to grow on the EORA website (click here to read). And among the many emails posted and others that have yet to go live, there is a call to “retire” Simonoff’s No. 1 ranking forever. The numbers have significance regarding seniority, which include booth positioning rights at regional shows, we were told.

In order to establish a hierarchy of seniority from the organization’s inception, the original 10 members drew numbers which would be used to designate their position of seniority in the organization. As was his style in life, Simonoff only ended up with the No. 1 as he insisted everyone else draw first. He was the last to draw, and ended up No. 1 in the organization, and No. 1 forever in anyone’s heart who met him.

SNEWS® certainly applauds the effort to retire Simonoff’s number and recognize his name as No. 1 in the EORA books forever. The example he set of how to conduct a life with compassion, dignity, passion and true interest in the lives and well-being of others has earned that honor and more.

Simonoff is survived by his wife, Sue, and two children, Lawrence and Victoria.

For those wishing to send a card the mailing address is:

53 Old Farm Road

Weston, CT 06883

In honor of Simonoff’s memory, donations may be made to any of the four organizations listed below:

Jewish National Fund - www.jnf.org

Weston (CT) Volunteer Fire Department - www.wvfd.com

North Shore Animal League - www.nsalamerica.org

National Kidney Foundation - www.kidney.org

--Michael Hodgson

Related

Cliff_Cornhall.jpg

In memoriam: Saying goodbye to Cliff Cornhall

Cliff Cornhall, 72, the camping buyer for Big 5 Sporting Goods for 38 years until his retirement in 2006, died of an apparent heart attack on April 15, shortly after returning from an early morning walk on the beach near his Huntington Beach, Calif., home. Larry Harrison, a ...read more

In Memoriam

Saying good-bye to someone is never easy, and industry veterans were getting more than a little misty this week with the untimely passing of two men. Kurt E. Lankford, a 43-year-old Boulder, Colo., resident, died of a heart attack while running on the Anemone Trail west of ...read more

In memoriam: Susanne Scaringi and Teri Johnston

Susanne ScaringiOutdoor Research's Susanne Scaringi was critically injured in a bicycle collision with a van on Sept. 27 in Seattle. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in order to care for her life-threatening injuries, but died later that evening. Scaringi, 26, was the ...read more

In memoriam: Saying goodbye to Marc Gmiter

Longtime industry veteran, beloved rep for numerous industry brands, and friend of many, died Saturday, Jan. 19, apparently of a massive heart attack while skiing near his Michigan home. Steve Bendzak, general manager for ExOfficio, shared the following with SNEWS®: “It was a ...read more

In_Memoriam_Thumb_09.jpg

In memoriam: Hooper's Outdoor Center owner Craig Sims passes away

Craig Sims, owner of Hooper's Outdoor Center in Paducah, Ky., lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 10. He was 49. He had accomplished many things in life, from being a member of the 1978 Mayfield High School state champion football team to climbing Aconcagua. Hooper's, in the ...read more

LaLanne_cartoon.jpg

In memoriam: Fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne, 96, leaves strong memories

Inspirational, and likely feisty to the end, Jack LaLanne passed away Jan. 23, 2011, from respiratory failure, a complication of pneumonia, at his home in Morro Bay, Calif. He was 96. For more than seven decades, LaLanne was responsible for bringing the message of fitness to the ...read more

Tom_Mann_041010.jpg

In memoriam: Tom Mann, the 'gentle giant' of Erickson Outdoors

On Sunday, April 11, Tom Mann passed away after a courageous five-month battle with melanoma. He would have been 63 on May 9. Mark Erickson, his friend and business associate at Erickson Outdoors, told SNEWS® that during an office meeting in October 2009, Mann appeared to be ...read more

In_Memoriam_Thumb_09.jpg

In memoriam: Alpinist Riccardo Cassin dies at 100

Riccardo Cassin, a pioneer in Alpine climbing and founder of the Cassin climbing equipment company, died Aug. 6 at the age of 100. “You could absolutely make the argument that he was one of the greatest Alpine climbers of all time,” Tommy Knoll, managing director of C.A.M.P. ...read more

Steve_Williams_Memoriam_thumb.jpg

In memoriam: Stephen Williams a marketing pro in fitness, audio

Stephen Williams, a former marketing executive in the fitness industry, including posts with Cybex and Technogym, died April 13, 2011, from kidney failure and diabetes. He was 61. He is survived by his daughter, Brita Elizabeth, and his wife, Linda Gromko, a doctor who kept a ...read more