A celebration of life for Mr. Dave Simonson, former president of Albertsons Southern California region, will be held in September. Mr. Simonson died in late June following a battle with dementia. He was in his mid-60s.
“Dave fought a very tough fight,” his wife Cathie says, “waking up each day with a smile on his face, frustrated by his deterioration and constantly saying ‘I can do better.’ As his dementia advanced he would often talk to us like he was talking to his team. He was Albertsons SoCal (until) the end. He missed the industry and the people in it every day and my heart broke for him.
“While his dementia was the result of his bypass surgery in 2001 we realize that, because of that surgery, we were given 13 wonderful years. All of our grandchildren have known him and that is a beautiful blessing,” she adds. “We are the family we are today because of this extraordinary man. He did not want to leave us and fought like hell to stay. He had one last shot of tequila with us, on a sponge swab, and smiled. He was surrounded by his entire family when he passed, wearing his USC ‘Fight On’ shirt.”
Prior to taking the helm of Albertsons in SoCal in 2000, Mr. Simonson served as EVP of the company’s operations at its headquarters in Boise, Idaho. Before that, Mr. Simonson held a variety of operating positions within Albertsons’ former Southern California division, including district sales manager, director of operations and VP of operations preceding the merger with American Stores Co. Mr. Simonson relocated to Boise in 1996 as SVP and regional manager. He was named to the EVP role in January 1999.
“I really enjoyed calling on Dave back in the day…what a fine gentleman,” says Willie Crocker of Bimbo Bakeries.
Cheryl Kennick of City of Hope calls Mr. Simonson “one of our industry’s great leaders and friend to City of Hope.”
The celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at Holy Name of Mary, located at 724 E. Bonita Ave. in San Dimas, Calif. A reception will follow at Diamond Bar Center at 1600 Grand Ave. in Diamond Bar, Calif. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to City of Hope/Food Industries Circle, c/o Cheryl Kennick, 1055 Wilshire Blvd. 11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
In the feature photo at top is Mr. Dave Simonson in April 2012.