He was one of the district’s best-known sports officials, educators and civic volunteers. He was also a religious man and active in St. George’s church. He served as an official for more than 35 years in football, baseball and basketball at the grade school, junior high, varsity and college levels. Mr. Simon had been a counselor, confidante and inspiration to many youngsters who now have become outstanding persons in the Business, Professional and Athletic worlds. No matter how busy in any of his endeavors, Disey always found the time to make a boy or girl feel important, or a parent feel proud. He was a friendly man with a beaming smile and a word of good cheer for every person he met. His type of sincerity and dedication was rare.
Disey was the son of James and Mary Simon and had five siblings: James, Thomas, Mary, Rose and Cecilia.
Disey accomplished much in his 58 years. He was a lifelong resident of Uniontown and graduated from Uniontown High School in 1934 where he was an outstanding athlete. He played fullback on the varsity football team which he captained in 1933 and 1934. This was in the day of two-way football, playing both offense and defense. Disey was also a regular on the basketball team for three years,
Baseball was the sport he loved best, however. At age 15 he was a star third baseman on the American Legion Post 51 team in 1929 which won the state championship and advanced to the national competition, losing in the semi-finals at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. That game was attended by then President Herbert Hoover.
Disey earned an athletic scholarship to Findlay College in Ohio, but when the depression hit his family he had to return home to help out. He went to work at Richmond Radiator Co. and was employed there for 17 years. Disey was persistent, however, and attended night school at Waynesburg to earn his degree. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Penn State University which was one of his proudest achievements. His first teaching job was at St. Bernard’s School in Mt. Lebanon where he also coached football. In 1960 he returned to teaching in Uniontown, at St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s. Mr. Simon also taught at A. J. McMullen as a science teacher in this district until his untimely death in 1973.
His athletic ability and love of sports took him into officiating and local recreational parks organization. In 1940 he helped organize the city fastball and softball leagues. That same year he earned his Interscholastic Athletic Association card when he passed his basketball, football, and baseball officiating exams. In 1942 Disey was appointed to the Uniontown Recreation Commission, organized playground programs, intercity baseball and softball leagues at Bailey Park, and a winter basketball training program for grade school students. He worked in that capacity and as a PIAA official throughout Fayette County. He also organized officiating training programs for young men.
Besides his notoriety in youth sports and education, Disey was also very active in civic organizations as well as his Church, St George’s. He was captain of the United Fund drive and participated in Cancer and Heart Fund Campaigns. He was a member of the YMCA board, the Knights of Columbus, and the Sierra Club. He worked with young people for the Automobile Association of America and organized and chaperoned trips for the Schoolboy Patrol (some of you “seniors” may remember that). He made 17 trips with them to Washington DC, and also trips to Harrisburg and Gettysburg. For his full support and effort to all these organizations, Mr. Simon received the Exchange Club’s prestigious “Book of Golden Deeds” award in 1967.
Disey was married to the former Rose Marie Ritchey and they were proud parents of four children: Eugene, Marianne, Barbara and Bernadette.
Disey is missed!