In Memory of Maggy Simony (1920-2016)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Maggy Simony at her 95th Birthday Party held in March 2016.

Helen “Maggy” Simony, age 96, died on November 18, 2016.

Maggy is survived by her children Stephen (Gwyn) Simony of Atlanta, GA, Christine (Michael) Donovan of Coronado, CA, and Maria (Steven) Agid of Cocoa, FL, 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband William (Bill) Simony. She also leaves many local friends and her “bridge ladies” who added much joy to her years in Florida.

Maggy was born on March 14, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York to Swedish immigrant parents. She learned stenography after high school and worked as a secretary at several jobs before taking a civilian job with the Army Adjutant General’s office in Berlin, Germany at the close of WWII to work as a court stenographer. She met Bill on the troop ship to Europe where he was serving in the Army. They married in 1948 and moved to California where she worked at the Presidio. Maggy and Bill returned to Long Island where she lived until after her husband’s death, working as a secretary for the local school district.

After retirement, she moved to Meredith, New Hampshire in 1983 before finally coming to Florida in 2004. In the course of her life, she saw Charles Lindbergh land on his return flight from Paris, watched FDR being helped into his car at a rally in New York City, voted in 19 Presidential elections and even worked on Ross Perot’s bid for president as an Independent. Politics was one of her passions. Maggy’s proudest accomplishment was her “late-in life” occupation of author.

Her first book was a book about starting a travel agency (something she did while on LI). She then edited a travel bibliography entitled “Traveler’s Ready Guide”. Her last book, written in her late 80s, “Bridge Table or What’s Trump Anyway?” is, as she described on the book cover, “An Affectionate Look Back at Sociable Bridge and Ladies Lunch”. This was a self-published book for which she did all of her own publicity eventually landing a story on the cover of the Wall Street Journal. She would tell anyone who would ask that the secret to growing old gracefully is to play bridge and have a cocktail every night, preferably a good martini.

As she requested, a “Martini Memorial” will be held poolside at Morgan Manor on Saturday January 14, 2017 from 2-5pm. Memorial donations may be made to Field Manor, 750 Field Manor Drive, Merritt Island, FL 32953.

Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Dec. 30, 2016.

Read Maggy’s Blogs for 2016

Hi, to all bridge players whether SERIOUS or SOCIABLE—

This is a website and blog intended for both kinds of bridge players of any age, who would like to see a return to the golden age of bridge—1920s thru 1960s—when it was estimated bridge was played in 40% of American homes.

That can only happen, in my view, by “selling” bridge to the general public as a social card game, not just a game for serious players as the ACBL is mandated to do. In the 20s thru the 60s first Ely Culbertson and then Charles Goren did that—and became household names for millions of bridge players.

There needs to be created a Bridge Boosterism organization with a mandate to promote the GAME OF BRIDGE for the global populist game it has been in the past and can be again. Bridge is a classic card game, with a lineage that goes back hundreds of years to whist. It DESERVES to survive beyond the small world of the ACBL, duplicate bridge, masters points, and tournaments.

I’m a purely sociable player, and one of the millions of OLD ladies who first learned to play bridge back in the 50s. When my generation of social bridge players is gone, it will be the end. There’s been a clear link between the generations back to the late 1800s when whist became bridge-whist, then auction bridge and finally contract bridge, as the game passed from parents to children within families until the mid-1960s. That link has been broken, and the booster generation is the first “lost” generation of bridge players.  That link has to be restored, and new links created to the 40-year olds and younger.

Serious bridge has the ACBL to keep it alive. Not good enough!  Bridge Boosterism is needed to promote bridge for the unique and POPULIST game it once was at all age levels.

If you love the game of bridge, subscribe to The Bridge Table blog, and become a Bridge Booster.  First priority? Get an organization started!  

See link below to an article from the May 2014 issue of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin.  I had intended to give up on my 94th birthday in March until Al Levy came to see me, and article was the result. And so I decided to continue another year at most in the hope some ONE or some group of people will pick up where I must leave off.

Maggy Simony

District 24 Board Member Al Levy presents ACBL’s Golden Age Master certificate to Maggy Simony in recognition of her good works in promoting bridge.
District 24 Board Member Al Levy presents ACBL’s Golden Age Master certificate to Maggy Simony in recognition of her good works in promoting bridge.

Maggy Simony: Bridge Crusader

Sociable and serious bridge –
can they grow together?

Al Levy presented ACBL’s Golden Age Master certificate to Maggy Simony and his article about her one-woman campaign to re-popularize “sociable” bridge appeared in the May 2014 Bridge Bulletin. To read the article click here.