Ben passed away peacefully on January 31, 2021 and entered eternal life at 97 years old. Born Benny David Simko in Ironwood, MI in 1923, Ben was part of a huge family, the seventh born of 10 brothers and sisters. An avid skier, Ben competed in and won many ski jumping events as a young man.
In 1942 he enlisted to fight in World War II. Originally intending to join the Air Force Training Program, the War Department had other plans and Ben was sent to the Army where he traveled extensively through England, France, and eventually Germany where he managed supply routes and drove a Jeep for a Colonel in combat situations.
After the war Ben moved to Chicago and went to school to become a watchmaker while working numerous post war factory jobs. Ben relocated to Milwaukee in 1949 and in 1950 Ben met a “nice German girl” named Hermine (nee Pregler), whom he married in 1952 and was the love of his life till her passing in 2016. They shared 64 years of marriage and had three children, Chris (Laura) Simko, Sue (Jim) D’Angelo, and Bob (Tami) Simko and was the proud Grandpa to his five loving grandchildren, Paul (Stephanie) D’Angelo, Vince (Jenn) D’Angelo, Lindsey D’Angelo, Jessa (Luis) Torres, Krista (Tyler) Simko Jones. Of his siblings, Ben is survived by his youngest sister Fran Marolla.
Ben spent the majority of his employment as a Foreman at George Seelman and Sons in downtown Milwaukee where he oversaw bindery operations in the manufacturing of notebooks, legal pads and journals.
Ben always had an interest in sketching, and that evolved into painting landscapes and nature scenes with oil paints. He honed his skills over the last 60 years painting wildlife scenes typically with geese and ducks and then dogs, cats and even horses. Never content to stay with one subject matter, over time Ben moved on to painting religious scenes, saints, and family members. To properly showcase his work, many times he would construct his own frames to make sure the picture looked just right. His artwork is proudly displayed in many friends and relative’s homes.
Ben really enjoyed golfing with his buddies and continued to play well in to his eighties. He also loved going to Brewers games with Hermine, playing bingo at Potawatomi with friends, and the occasional McRib (now that’s a sandwich!).
A devout Catholic, he attended Mass weekly. One of the few left from the Greatest Generation, Ben was a sweet, lovable guy who will be missed dearly by his family and friends.
Visitation will take place at Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 6924 Lisbon Avenue in Milwaukee on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Funeral Mass at 11:30 AM.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ben David Simko, please visit our floral store.