Simon J. Robles passed away peacefully on Monday, January 21 at Enloe Hospital in Chico in the company of many family members and friends. Simon was born in Colusa on April 14, 1939 and was a life-long resident of Grimes in Colusa County. Simon suffered a serious accident at the age of 19 that left him a quadriplegic; however, he lived a very full life during which he helped hundreds of people in his community build better lives. His efforts within the farm worker community were recognized when he was named as one of five state finalists for the National Jefferson Award presented by the American Institute for Public Service and was given commendations by both the California State Assembly and Senate for his work.
Simon never let his disability deter him from living a good, full life. He married his beautiful wife Luz 14 years ago and together they operated a successful immigration and tax service business, all the while continuing to serve the community. In 1997, Cathy Bowden Craigo wrote an article about Simon that was published in a magazine called “Grit” which documents the lives of people who have successfully overcome major challenges in their lives. Ms. Bowden Craigo (formerly of Grimes) came from North Dakota to interview Simon, not knowing what she would find. In the article she describes the feeling she came away with from that meeting after the interview: “Two and a half hours later, I prepared to leave the Robles’ home knowing I had just had the pleasure of renewing friendship with one of the world’s genuine people.”
Simon was predeceased by his father Simon M. Robles. He is survived by his mother Justina Robles; wife Luz; step-son Luis Barrera; sister Lupe (Jim); brother David (Jeannette); nephew Aaron Robles; niece Lia Robles, grand-nephew Daniel Robles and several very close and loving cousins and family friends, many of whom were at his side when he passed away. At the end of the article in Grit, Ms. Bowden Craigo asks Simon if he has any regrets. “Not a one,” he said, “My life, it’s been a great ride!”
No service is planned; however, there will be a family and friends celebration in the spring to remember Simon and his legacy and a life well lived.