CHICAGO — Steven Simon, artist, entrepreneur and political activist, passed away Sunday (May 19, 2019) in the loving home of his son, Brion, and daughter-in-law, Nora, in Sedona, Ariz. Steve was also in the company of his grandchildren, Gabriella and Darshan.
Steven served in the Army in the Korean War. After the war, Steve attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Navy Pier, where he earned a degree in political science.
Steve married my mother, Marilyn, in 1956. In 1959, Steve and Marilyn moved to Champagn and opened the Turk's Head Alehouse. The Turk's Head was an artsy, bohemian cafe, restaurant and bar, furnished with antiques, serving exotic offerings for the era. Entertainment consisted of folk singers, poetry readings and thought-provoking movies. Guests would play chess and engage in intellectual conversations. As early as 1963, the Turk's Head educated patrons about the use of napalm in the Vietnam War and became a center for anti-war thought. The Turk's Head closed in 1967, and my family moved to Chicago, where my father designed and sold the peace flag as well as other anti-war products.
Throughout the 60s and 70s my family participated in anti-war and civil rights demonstrations, marching on two occasions with Martin Luther King. When President Nixon bombed Cambodia, Steve started the first campaign to impeach Nixon. Steve was deeply involved in the animal rights movement. He led weekly demonstrations for years at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, protesting the exhibition of whales there. Steve and his wife, Marilyn, spent their lives committed to making the world a better place.
My father had a deep love for his nephew, Kent, and his family. Steve had lifelong friendship with his dishwasher from the Turk's Head, John Titus. My father was grateful for his deep friendship with Larry Warsaw. Steve lived a life of passion.