By Paul Schmitt
A pillar of the Luxemburg business community for over 50 years passed away last Friday. LeRoy Simonar, 77 of Luxemburg and founder of Simonar Sports was a fixture at the snowmobile dealership on Main Street right up until his death. According to his obituary, he began in the family’s gas station business in 1956 before opening Simonar Sports in 1968. Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce President Alex Stodola says Simonar will be remembered for putting Luxemburg on the map when it came to snowmobiles.
Under LeRoy’s direction, Simonar Sports became the largest dealership of snowmobiles in the country for 15 years and operates today as the oldest dealership in the United States. Simonar was also a founder member of the Spartans Snowmobile Club. Visitation for LeRoy Simonar will be from 3:00 until 8:00 pm Wednesday and until the time of funeral services at 10:30 St. Mary Catholic Church in Luxemburg on Thursday morning. You can read LeRoy Simonar’s entire obituary with this story online.
By McMahon Funeral Home
LeRoy H. Simonar, 77, of Luxemburg, passed away on January 26, 2018, at Aurora Baycare Hospital. He was born in Luxemburg on October 18, 1940, to the late John and Irene (Martin) Simonar. LeRoy served in the US Army Reserves in Kewaunee as a Private. On May 12, 1962, he married the former Patricia Rebitz at St Joseph Catholic Church in Pilsen. She preceded him in death on December 12, 2004 LeRoy was a longtime member of American Legion, Ralph Kline Post 262. In 1956, while attending Luxemburg High School, LeRoy, along with his brothers took ownership of the family gas station and began his career. In 1963 he started selling snowmobile parts out of his mother’s basement. Then, in 1964, he received his first snowmobile and quickly sold it to Toy Barbeau. LeRoy acquired the snowmobile on a trade-in and it remains in his collection today. He continued to sell snowmobiles out of the gas station until he opened his own dealership in 1968, in the same location it is today. LeRoy’s skills as a salesman and businessman are marked by many achievements and awards. For 15 years, Simonar Sports was the largest dealership in the United States and operates today as the oldest dealership in the United States, selling over 30,000 snowmobiles over 53 years. Visitors to the shop are able to see dozens of “Dealer of the Year” plaques on display. In 2015 he was recognized for 50 years in business at the BRP Club Conference in Quebec Canada, in front of an audience of dealers and peers from around the world. Ironically, he missed his presentation, as he was stuck at the airport due to a snow storm. These achievements would not have been possible without loyal customers, many who just stopped in to visit. Those who called rarely needed to wait for more than one ring to hear his familiar greeting, “Simonarzzz”. Away from work, LeRoy and his wife enjoyed traveling to many places in the U.S. and enjoyed special trips to Mexico and Austria. He was a lifelong member in faith at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg. A founding member of the Spartans Snowmobile Club, member of the Luxemburg Sportsman’s Club and lifetime member of Ducks Unlimited Luxemburg and Kewaunee Chapters. He enjoyed keeping up with the activities in town, and could often be seen cruzin’ in his 57 Chevy, usually accompanied by one of the family dogs. In later years, he satisfied his passion for bartering by collecting and selling “rummage”. LeRoy is survived by his three children, David (Kim) Simonar; Dean (Teresa) Simonar and Debra Simonar, all of Luxemburg; two grandchildren, Nicholas Simonar and special friend Wendy and Emily Simonar; one great grandchild, Noah; two brothers, Jerry (Carol) Simonar and Richard (Judy) Simonar, all Luxemburg. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Norbert (Patricia) Simonar. Friends may call at St. Mary Catholic Church, 1412 Main St. in Luxemburg from 3:00-8:00 pm Wednesday, January 31. American Legion Memorial service 7:00 pm Wednesday. Visitation will continue on Thursday after 9:00 am until time of Mass at 10:30 am with Rev. Milton Suess officiating. Burial in the church cemetery. In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established in his name. He will be missed by all. The family would like to recognize Paul and Karen Simonar, and Sheryl Murphy for the care and friendship they’ve given over the years. They also want to thank the Doctors and Staff of Aurora Baycare and Luxemburg Pharmacy.