Army Pfc. William L. “Sonny” Simon

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MIDDLETON–The remains of Pfc. William L. "Sonny" Simon of Middleton, killed in World War II are coming home after nearly 80 years.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has notified the family that the remains of Army Pfc William L. Simon of Middleton, killed on Nov. 5, 1944, have been accounted for, identified and will be brought home to Middleton, to be buried.

William LaVerne “Sonny” Simon was born on April 18, 1924, in Madison, to George and Margaret (Gorman) Simon. He loved his mother dearly and is fondly remembered as thoughtful and caring. Sonny’s military travel took him through various cities across Europe and he wrote home every few days. The family accumulated over 200 letters.

William “Sonny” Simon was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. His final battle was fought against German forces in the Hurtgen Forest. He was reported killed in action but because this area was still under heavy siege his body could not be recovered.  

His remains were declared “unrecoverable” on Dec. 10, 1950.  His name was later added to a memorial–the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery in Margarten, Netherlands.

Despite the repeated efforts of his mother, Margaret Simon, she was unable to recover her son’s remains and the status of these remains remained a mystery until recently. Through the efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Sonny’s remains were found and brought to a lab in Nebraska. Here scientists examined teeth and bones and combined DNA analysis using samples from Sonny’s brother, James Simon, and sister, Eileen Tesch, to make a positive identification. 

During Sonny’s military career, he earned many honors including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, two of the military’s highest honors. Now, after 79 years Sonny’s family is waiting to welcome him home.

Sonny grew up on Hubbard Avenue in Middleton. He attended Elm Lawn Grade School and graduated from Middleton High School in 1943, where he lettered in baseball, football, basketball and boxing. He received a four-letter sweater and was a member of the Middleton Home Talent baseball team.

Sonny is survived by sister, Eileen Tesch; brother, James Simon; nieces, Mary Jo (Kevin) Dresen, Jill (Dave) D’Orazio, Jamie (Jeff) Hanson and Jenny (Robbie) Fackender; nephews, Denny (Valerie) Tesch, Bill (Janet) Simon and Pat (Tracie) Simon; and many great and great-great-nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 7450 University Ave., Middleton, at 11 a.m. on March 28, 2023, with Father Brian Wilk presiding. Family and friends who wish to view the Mass via Live Stream may visit Sonny’s obituary page at and click on the Live Webcast at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Military burial with honors will be held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a VSO (Veteran Service Organization) of choice. 

Online condolences may be made at

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