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Simonne Quigley, 99, Red Cross Translator In World War II, Local Community Organizer, Activist

Simonne Quigley.
Simonne Quigley. Photo Credit: Contributed

Simonne (Lanowitz) Quigley, 99, of Newton, Massachusetts, formerly of Peekskill, passed away peacefully on January 18 at her home in Newton.

Born October 25, 1920 and raised in Paris, France, Simonne worked as a translator for the American Red Cross during World War II. Following the end of the war, she immigrated to the United States, settled and worked in New York City, marrying her husband of 46 years, Robert Nolan Quigley in 1948.

While raising eight children and several foster children, Simonne was the Westchester co-coordinator for the Christian Family Movement’s foreign student program, placing hundreds of students throughout the community and in her own home. She was a fervent activist and organizer during the civil rights struggle of the 60s and 70s. 

In 1968, Simonne co-founded Aunt Bessie’s Open Door, the first all-volunteer daycare in Westchester County serving underprivileged children and low income families. Then finishing her career, she worked in the Peekskill public school system for many years. An unwavering commitment to the betterment and improvement of those both in and out of the community was her life long pursuit.

Predeceased by her husband Robert N. Quigley, Simonne is survived by her children, Robert Quigley (Jeanne Mangan) of Cummington, MA;  Maureen Foster (George) of Portland, OR; Michele Quigley (Jim Merrigan) of Spencertown, NY; Diane Quigley-Clune (John) of Westfield, MA; Mark Quigley of Newton, MA; Bernadette Quigley (Don Rosler) of New York City; Sharon Quigley (John Isaacson) of Anacortes, WA and Keith Quigley (Anabelle) of Chula Vista, CA. She is also survived by her 11 loving grandchildren, Bryan and Megan Foster;  Phoebe Harris and Dane Clune; Trevor and Chloe Caldwell; Samuel, Neil and Lucinda Quigley; Bella and Henri Isaacson and her 6 great-grandchildren.

A private family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, Simonne requested that donations be made to her son Keith Quigley’s non-profit youth sports organization, Puckidz Inc.

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