- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Paul David Simerman, manager of the John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall for more than 20 years and former director of operations for the U.S. Navy Band, died Sept. 30 of lung cancer at his home in Warrenton, Va. He was 71.

Born Sept. 19, 1934, in Fort Wayne, Ind., Mr. Simerman attended Southside High School in Fort Wayne. After graduating in 1953, he joined the U.S. Naval School of Music and served as a fleet shipboard musician during the Korean War.

In 1956, Mr. Simerman was accepted as an instrumentalist and vocalist with the Navy Band and Sea Chanters, and then became director of the Sea Chanters in 1960. From 1965 to 1973, he served as director of operations for the Navy Band, where he formed, booked and directed the pop-rock group Port Authority.

Upon retiring from the Navy in 1973 as a senior chief, Mr. Simerman became managing director of Constitution Hall in the District — a 3,800-seat concert and convention auditorium that averaged six performances per week.

In 1974, Mr. Simerman began his 22-year tenure as manager of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Mr. Simerman was in charge of a staff of more than 150 and was responsible for the selection, budgeting, contracting and production of events. He also served as a liaison for events that involved heads of state and acted as a manager for other theaters as needed.

“He enjoyed his Navy career, but he really enjoyed [his time at the Kennedy Center],” said Mr. Simerman’s wife, Christine. “It brought a wonderful time to our lives.”

Along with his wife, Mr. Simerman is survived by a son, Anthony Ray Simerman of Seattle, a daughter, Nena Simerman of Warrenton, and two grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Moser Funeral Home at 233 Broadview Ave. in Warrenton. Entombment will be at Stonewall Memory Gardens in Manassas. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Prince William Chapter of Capital Hospice, 9300 Lee Highway, Fifth floor, Fairfax, VA.

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