August 26, 2010
Susan Tours Simek, mother of University of Tennessee Interim President Jan Simek, passed away Thursday morning in Knoxville. A longtime resident of California, Mrs. Simek had lived in a Knoxville nursing home for the past six years. She was 89.
Mrs. Simek was born and spent her early childhood in New York City, where her parents worked in musical theater until moving the family to Los Angeles. She was the eldest of five children, who included her two sisters and two brothers. In California, her father continued his musical career as a composer for the motion picture industry.
As did all four of her siblings, Mrs. Simek served as a member of the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was stationed in San Diego, Calif. through the war, then worked for the U.S. government in Germany with Radio Free Europe.
In Germany, she met her future husband, Vasek Simek, a native of Czechoslovakia and who also worked for Radio Free Europe. The couple later moved to the United States and were the parents of two sons, Dr. Simek, and his brother, Peter Simek.
Both of her sons were with Mrs. Simek at the time of her death. She was preceded in death by their father. Mrs. Simek is survived by one brother and one sister, both residents of California.
The family will gather in California in the near future for a celebration of her life.