Jarmila (Cerovska) Simon

Died: Wed., Nov. 30, 2011


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SIMON, Jarmila Cerovska Died peacefully in her home in Belmont, MA on November 23, 2011. She was born on March 4, 1914 in Prague, the daughter of Emilie and Josef Cerovsky, when the Czech lands were still a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Her father was a prominent Civil Engineer active in building the young country of Czechoslovakia after WWI. Jarmila studied physics at the Charles University and earned her doctorate in ultrasonics in 1939. With WWII looming she turned down a postdoctoral appointment knowing that she might not be able to return to Prague from Paris. Jarmila married Dr. Ivan Simon, also a physicist. Their son Michal, was born in 1940 in occupied Czechoslovakia. Their daughter, Helen, was born in 1945 during the street-fighting that marked the end of the war in 1945. Jarmila and Ivan emigrated to the United States in February, 1948 and remained in Boston after the Czech government became communist. After the communist government fell, Jarmila had the tremendous pleasure of seeing her sister, brother, and their families more than 40 years later in Prague. Jarmila and Ivan were delighted to put down roots in their new home. The family embarked on many memorable car trips to explore their new country. Jarmila became absolutely fluent in English. After she felt that her children didn't need her to be at home, she wrote computer programs for satellite orbital mechanics at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and later studied the structure of fruit fly wings using electron microscopy at Tufts University. Jarmila also took special pleasure in her volunteer work at the Veterans' Hospital in Bedford. Jarmila and Ivan loved to hike and in their later years were often recognized by neighbors as they walked hand in hand, along the roads in Belmont. Ivan died on March 25, 2009. Jarmila is survived by her daugher, Helen of Baraboo, WI, her son, Michal and his wife Anne, of Setauket, NY, her grandson Daniel, his wife Mary and three great grandchildren, Katherine, Clare, and Thomas of Locust Valley, NY.

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