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Life Story / Obituary
Always willing to help a friend in need or excited to share his passion for music, Eric was extremely bright and easy going. Whether he was playing disc golf or headed to a concert with friends, he was able to find the zest in life. His adventurous spirit will be forever missed in this lifetime.
The year in which Eric began his life was also the dawning of the 80's decade. Huge discoveries and technological advances gained momentum changing the modern life forever. The United States was awe struck with the first flight of Space Shuttle Columbia enabling two astronauts to enter space and return safely with a spacecraft. Their mission was successful because the craft could be used again. On land, Ronald Reagan became the president, and the highly anticipated wedding between Lady Diana Spencer and Charles the Prince of Wales was celebrated. In water, researchers found the Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean providing answers to many questions. The year of 1981 marked the first moment the word 'Internet' became a part of the common vocabulary, but it was not fully understood by the world - yet. Closer to home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, William and Dawn (Benison) Simon were anxiously awaiting the birth of their first baby. Amongst the excitement of costumes and sugary treats, Eric began his life on Halloween, October 31, 1981. Soon, Eric held the responsibility of being the big brother to Ross and Stacey.
From early on, it was evident that Eric was not one to sit idle while life passed him by. Instead, he was always on the move - though not so much with sports, as his asthma made athletics challenging for him. Though he was laid back in personality, he was known to seek out adventure and excitement. He loved to ride his dirt bike and mini bike because it got him outdoors which was one of his favorite places to be. He even enjoyed the Michigan winters because he was able to snowmobile and sled down the hill in his backyard. When he needed a warm up from the outdoor fun, he found playing video games equally enjoyable.
As he matured, he attended Mattawan High School where he participated in the marching band. He was quite musically talented, and he played the alto saxophone and the clarinet. He also played the guitar - both electric and acoustic. Later on, he enrolled and studied welding at KVCC.
As time passed, something about heading west was intriguing to him, so he moved to California around the age of 21. He took along his love for music and continued his electronic DJ-ing in both San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. In true Eric style, he also eased into the culture there, and learned to speak Spanish fluently. While there, he participated in the Baha 1000 with a chase vehicle creating memories of a lifetime.
Upon his return to the mid-west, he found work in roofing to make a comfortable living for himself. Before too long, he was doing sub-contracting work on his own with his self-made company named "Premier Remodeling." In time, he also became a member of the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 357 and worked as an apprentice pipefitter and welder.
Though Eric worked hard to make a name for himself professionally, he also found balance in his life. This afforded him the opportunity to open his heart to love. After he moved back from out west, and through mutual friends, Eric and Amanda were introduced. She captivated his heart, and they became life long partners. The two spent many fun times visiting local establishments where they talked and listened to one another for hours. Eric found great joy in teaching Amanda everything he knew, and she taught him how to feel love. Together, it was obvious they were meant to be.
When Eric had time to enjoy without work, there was always plenty to do. A good evening might include the simple things like a cold beer or two (Bell's Amber Ale was his favorite) and some kind of Mexican food. He found contentment in hanging out with his favorite feline friends, Angel and Mittens. He held a special place in his heart for animals. He also loved to read, and The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore was on the top of his reading list because he loved fantasy and science-fiction.
Sadly, Eric died unexpectedly in his home on September 10, 2017. It is difficult to say goodbye to such a young life, as Eric was only 35 years old. We will never forget the place Eric held in our lives. As we look to one another to find comfort in our grief, we will hold close the memories we shared with Eric in our heart.
Eric was preceded in death by his brother, Ross Simon and Uncle Daniel Simon. Surviving are best friend and life partner, Amanda Rogers; mother, Dawn (Chuck) Bickings; father, Bill (Janet) Simon; sister, Stacey Simon; nephew, Dylan Simon, grandmother, Patricia Benison; 3 uncles Gerry (Carla) Benison, Michael Benison and Michael Simon; 2 aunts: Diane Lee and Lori Hufford and cousins.
Visit with family and friends on Friday from 5-8pm at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where services will be held Saturday at 11 am.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association.