Dr. David Simons grew up in Pennsylvania in the 1930’s enjoying a younger sister, church youth choir, and family visits to a summer cabin in the woods. During medical school he married his high school sweetheart Mary Heagey Grefe. They have 4 living children, Susan, Sam, Sally and Scott Simons. Steven died in infancy. David Simons graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1946 and served in the Air Force until 1965. His military career included being a flight surgeon in Japan and research Project Engineer at Holloman AFB, NM. One project was the Man High balloon flights to test space pressure suits and the medical hazards of cosmic radiation. His 1957 solo 36 hour long balloon flight set a world record altitude of 102,000 feet. His favorite part was seeing the curvature of the earth and all the stars as steady points of light. That research confirmed that heavy primary cosmic radiation prohibits manned space flights to mars. He also helped advance radio telemetry for physiologic monitoring with the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in Texas. Dr. Simons worked for the VA from 1965-1985 pioneering computerized neuromuscular research. He met Dr. Janet Travell and coauthored the medical text, Myofascial Trigger Point Manual. Further research in muscle pain has been very productive to improve medical treatments. David Simons married Lois Statham and for retirement they moved to Covington, GA. He continued writing and consulting in the Physical Therapy Department at University of Georgia, Emory Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Georgia State. He received an honorary Doctorate in 2005 from Jefferson Medical College. Lois preceded him in her untimely death in 2004. Continuing to write and keep up with research David Simons met Dr. Carol McMakin, another medical pioneer. They have worked together continuing the goal of pain relief for patients. Dr. Simons’ most recent interest is the new physical therapy department at Mercer College and donations in place of flowers may be given to the David Simons Memorial Research Fund at Mercer. David Simons loved life, people and research. A memorial service for Dr. David Simons will be May 15 at 2pm at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Covington.
Dr. David Simons
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