Alvin E. Simonds, Jr. ’60 died on August 25, 2023, in Hartford, Connecticut.
(The following was provided by the Hartford Courant on August 30, 2023)
Alvin E. Simonds, retired former sports editor of The Hartford Courant, long-time resident of Connecticut and frequent traveler to visit friends in Spain, died Friday in St. Francis Hospital. He was 84.
A former high school and college athlete, Simonds had been in failing health and recently was diagnosed with cancer.
Alvin E. Simonds Jr. was born Nov. 23, 1938, in Tappan, N.Y. His parents were Alvin E. and Ruth (Rankin) Simonds, his father an electric company accountant and his mother a homemaker, both New Englanders who had moved to New York in the 1930s. He was the second of three sons and is survived by an older brother, John, of Honolulu HI, and was predeceased by a younger brother, Rodney, of Manhattan, N.Y, in 2018.
“Al” Simonds worked for the Courant in the 1970s and 80s and became its sports editor and later Sunday sports editor before his retirement from the newspaper.
Traveling to the town of Ronda in southern Spain became a main focus of his post-newspaper days with his late wife, Diana (Hurley) Simonds, who shared his intense interest in the people, language, culture and music of the Andalusian region.
Simonds began his newspaper career in the 1960s at the former Nyack Journal-News in Rockland County, N.Y., where he had been a three-sport standout at Nyack High School, quarterbacking the football team to consecutive winning seasons; leading the basketball team as a high-scoring guard, and playing shortstop on the baseball team.
His accomplishments earned him the county’s Dominick Grasso Award as the outstanding high school athlete in 1955-56. In later years Simonds was inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame.
At Bowdoin College, Simonds starred in basketball and was named co-captain.
After graduation in 1960, Simonds served two years in the U.S. Army, where his basketball skills kept him busy traveling and playing in intraservice competition. He also took part in intelligence missions in Germany during the Cold War years.
After the military, he returned to Rockland County to work on his hometown newspaper, living with his first wife, the late Marie (Cox) Simonds in Tomkins Cove. Samantha (Simonds) Platz of McLean, Va., is their surviving daughter. He is also survived by son-in-law Austin Platz, grandsons Austin and Mark, and dear neighbors and friends in Connecticut and Spain.