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: