Proud granddaughter writes about grandfather’s Christmas dinner
When Billie Jo Forrester was a freshman in college she had to write a short paper for her English class. She entitled it: “My Grandparents’ Stories.”
In one of the stories she tells about former T-Sgt. Ted Simis, her grandfather, who lives in Englewood, Fla. He served in World War II.
“On Christmas Eve of 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, my grandfather and four other GIs were in the 3rd Army lead by Gen. George Patton,” Forrester wrote.
“They had been battling the Germans at the front line for four days. During those four days they had no rest, it was below freezing and they were cold, tired, wet and hungry. They had just entered the grand duchy of Luxembourg and were sitting up their company headquarters.
“While in a small town the Pierre and Ernestine Kline-Bre family welcomed my grandfather and four other GIs into their home to celebrate Christmas Eve with them. To do this was putting themselves at risk for they were only a mile away from the German front line.
“If the Germans had found out what this family did they would have been killed. Even though they had very little food, water or heat the Kline-Bres and their two children, Jacqueline, 12, and Henri, 6, shared their meager meal with the soldiers.
“They were devout Christians. That night, while the war was going on, they prayed and sang hymns in German, French and English. For the soldier it was a place of rest.
“My grandfather said, ‘The people of Luxembourg embraced us, keeping us safe, helping us through a terrible and lonely time, giving us hope, a sense of family and renewed faith.
“In the following years my grandfather has kept in touch with the Kline-Bres and their children. Even through Pierre and Ernestine are no longer living, my grandfather will always be thankful for that kind and courageous deed they did for five lonely men. as he was ending this story he said to me, ‘I’ll never forget that Christmas.’
“Following that night the 3rd Army broke through and relieved the troops in Bastogne. They succeeded in destroying the Germany armies.
“While I was writing this paper I felt a great sense of peace,” Forrester noted. “The way the people bonded during World War II was like a gift from God.”
Theodore Luckey Simis
17 June 1924 – 27 Jan 2015
Theodore Luckey Simis, 90, of Englewood, Fla. passed away on Jan. 27, 2015. Ted was born on June 17, 1924 in New York City to Theodore W. E. Simis and Helen Luckey.
He attended PS 16 in the Bronx and Evander Hills High School. He enlisted in the army in 1942. He served until December of 1945 in signal and military intelligence. For his service he was awarded the French Government Legion of Honor, the United States Bronze Star Medal, The Conspicuous Service Cross, and New York State and tour campaign battle stars in the European Theater of Operations.
After WWII Ted received the Bachelor of Science and Master of Business degrees from New York University. Ted was predeceased by his wife Laura Cushman Ingraham after 64 years of marriage, and his son Theodore Steven.
He is survived by his three daughters, Nancy Ricca, Karen Woods, and June Sobocinski, nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Ted married Maxine Gail Rickard in 2011 and is survived by her. He loved and received love from each and every one.
He worked in the Bell Telephone System until his retirement in 1979. He was an officer in AT&T Co., New York Telephone Co., and New Jersey Bell Telephone Co. He then became senior vice president of E.F. Hutton in Sarasota, Fla. and senior advisor to Private Transatlantic Telecommunications Co. Ted was active throughout his life in the Lutheran Church and was always ready to share His love for Jesus Christ.
Services will be held on Saturday Feb. 7th at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Englewood, Fla. at 10:00 am. He will be interred the following Monday at 10:30 a.m. with military honors at the Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Fla.
Because of Ted’s passion for missionary work in lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to Liebenzell Mission, P.O.Box 66, Schooley’s Mountain, N.J. 07870-0066
Lemon Bay Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements. You may express your condolences to the family at lemonbayfh.com
What a lovely story to come out of such terror. It’s nice to know that even in times of war people can hold on to their beliefs and show compassion. Thank you for sharing this.
It’s neat that family members can articulate so well what their family’s military service means to them. Another great story.
Your grandparents were close friends of my parents, Ted and Nancy Langan. Your grandfather and my dad worked together at Ny/NJ Bell and AT&T. It was always funny when the families got together. There was Ted Langan, Ted Simis, my brother , Ted, and your Uncle Ted. Then My mom, Nancy, and Nancy Simis. Laura Simis and my sister , Laurie. I remember the whole family well. I believe Karen was about my age.