Ronald Jonathan Simmons

The family of Ron Simmons is planning to hold a memorial, for the Oyster Bay High School graduate of the Class of 1978, on Sunday Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center.

Ron Simmons was the basketball "star" featured in the 1978 Class Reunion article written by Gregory Druhak, that appeared in the July 31 issue of the Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot.

The caption for the photograph of Mr. Simmons written by Gregory Druhak read: "Ron Simmons, who is very seriously ill in California, was very much on the minds and in the hearts of class members. Seen here in a photo taken by sports photographer James Silver and excerpted from the March 31, 1978 (April Fool) edition of the school newspaper, the Harbour Voice, he displays graceful Baymen form. He proudly wears jersey number "14" as he sinks a basket in what will later become the library area of the High School. Photo by James Silver, used with permission by the 1978 co-editors of the Harbour Voice."

His classmates wrote of Mr. Simmons:

"The memorial service will honor the life of Ronald J. Simmons who passed on Thanksgiving Day (11/27/08) after a long battle with cancer.

"Throughout his long battle, he never failed to lift the spirits and bring smiles to the faces of all who were with him. Those are the type of character traits that Ron Simmons brought to life every day...

"Ron grew up in Oyster Bay and excelled in academics, athletics and the arts. He was a prominent member of the Oyster Bay High School Class of 1978 for which he was elected Student Council President and named "Mr. OBHS" by his classmates. He never had an unkind word and always demonstrated the utmost diplomacy; not an easy feat in high school. Many strived to be like him, and everyone wanted to be his friend.

"As a junior, Ron was the starting point guard on the 1977 basketball team that won the North Shore Championship. He was named captain of the 1978 team and earned All-League Honors. Ron was named one of the top 15 basketball players at OBHS from the years 1955-1978. He was also a dominant sprinter and long jumper for Heinz Posch's Varsity track squads. On the stage, Ron had a lead role in the school production of The King and I during his junior year. He was a member of the All-County Choir, the school chorus and drama club as well.

"Ron earned a scholarship to Hamilton College in upstate New York. At Hamilton, he excelled on the Track and Field team. Ron still holds the school records for the 100 meter dash and the long jump. He graduated from Hamilton in 1982 and embarked on a business career that led him to Richmond, Virginia. Ron's diverse business experience and his strong interpersonal skill set made a tremendous impact on the Richmond community.

"Ron leaves behind a large family; most notably his mother and father, Hilda and Jonathan Simmons; his three children, Rebecca, Nicholas and Sabrina, his two brothers, Karl and Abraham Simmons; several aunts, uncles and cousins and his wife, Marjan."

Herb Machol, who will be remembered for being the original promoter of the Oyster Festival, died on Monday, Dec. 29, 2008. He had just turned 68 on Nov. 1.

It was to Herb Machol of Machol Media Services, whom Tom Reardon, first Oyster Festival chairman, turned to in 1984 to promote the two-day outdoor festival begun by the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Herb served with the U.S. Navy where he began his career as a public relations specialist and had a very interesting career in sports publicity before coming to Oyster Bay. A resident of Syosset, when he went into private practice in public relations he chose Oyster Bay because he loved the community, said his wife of 32 years, Myralee Machol. He had several offices while in town starting in 1982 when he opened Machol Media Services, at 21 West Main Street; over Nobman's Hardware Emporium; and at Townsend Square.

Mr. Machol had connections in the sporting world after a career as a sports publicist. He was able to bring a national bicycling event sponsored by 7-Eleven to Oyster Bay for the Oyster Festival. The company added a final event to their national racing circuit on the Saturday after Columbus Day with big prize money that attracted international cyclists to come to compete for prizes. The Machols organized and ran multiple races that comprised the Oyster Festival Racing Classic.

Mr. Machol brought major sponsors to the Oyster Festival which helped fund the many services needed to bring 200,000 people to this North Shore hamlet; to celebrate the oysters that grow in Oyster Bay Harbor; and to showcase the historic downtown area. He marketed the festival getting it on the list of best festivals in the State of New York. The Oyster Festival food court run by local volunteer organizations fundraise for over 30 non-profit groups.

Mr. Machol was the son of Hildegard and Max Machol, who was the photojournalist at the United Nations who took the famous picture of USSR leader Nikita Kruschev pounding the desk with his shoe. When the Machols fled from Berlin, Germany during Word War II, they emmigrated to Ecuador, where Herb was born.

He is survived by his wife Myralee and children Linda and David and was predeceased by his son Ricky.

The interment was at the New Montefiore Cemetery in Plainview, where a gravesite service was held on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Logo
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