David J. Simko Inducted 2003 - Class of 1967
How would one describe Dave Simko? You might call him an all-American guy . . . strong in character and commitment...strong work ethic . . . dedicated to service of his fellow man and his family. During these changing and challenging times, Dave is a staunch example, whom today's Woodward students can strive to emulate.
Dave attended Kleis Grade School and Point Place Junior High School. While attending Woodward, he lived on 119th Street in Point Place. "Point Place was a blue collar community, with the benefit of being a small community within a larger city (Toledo). It was a good place to grow up." Dave made numerous "great friends" at Woodward. He didn't have one best friend, but "ran around" with a larger group, which included Ken Allen. Jim Bedra, Julie Burns, Marty Drozdowicz, John Fong, Rick Harrison, Madelyn Hughley, Hope Kessler, Paul Kornowa, Dave McLaughlin, Judy Mohn, Ron Pfisterer, Mike Stump, Dave Taylor, Margaret Justen Warnock, and many others.
Highlights of Dave's high school career were the opportunity to serve as a class officer, being the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award, and the friendships developed and maintained over the years. "My favorite memories of Woodward are the assemblies and pep rallies, great friendships, and the socioeconomic mix of people."
Interestingly enough, two of Dave’s favorite teachers were Pat Perruchon and James Caldwell, but he never had the opportunity to work with either of them in a classroom setting. "Pat Perruchon was a great class advisor and wonderful person. She always had time for us and was fun too. Jim Caldwell was also a great class advisor. He held people accountable and, believe it or not, was a lot of fun too. Other great teachers were Marie Williamson, Dorothy Hayes, Dave McMurray and Belle Joseph. "Dave also learned "life lessons" from administrator David Krost. "He was kind and helpful, yet demanding. His quiet presence taught me about leadership, responsibility and commitment."
After leaving WHS, Dave continued his education at the University of Toledo, where he majored in Political Science, Economics, and History and minored in Accounting. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971. He pursued his chosen profession in law and obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree in 1975 from Capital University Law School Columbus, Ohio. During Dave's college years. employment opportunities were sparse, due to his demanding academic schedule. An anonymous source, a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brother, reveals that they chose an unusual means of earning money. "We respectfully offered our services to funeral homes as pallbearers to assist families during their difficult times. It was not unusual for Dave to serve in this capacity several times each week."
Throughout Dave's multifaceted career in law and politics, he specialized in estate planning, wills and estates, personal injury, small corporations, real estate and governmental law, with emphasis on township law and zoning issues. Dave served as Assistant Attorney General, Division of Criminal Activities, in the State of Ohio Attorney General's Office from 1975-1977. He was an Assistant Prosecutor at the Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney's Office from 1977-1980, serving also as Chief of the Civil Division. At the same time, he was with the law firm of Wilkowski, Bloom & Simko. He joined the law firm of Neipp & Wingart in 1980 and remained with them until 1984. From 1980-1983, Dave served in the highly visible position of Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections. He served as Special Counsel to the Attorney General for the Medical College of Ohio from 1984-1995, and has been with the law firm of Shindler, Neff, Holmes & Schlageter from 1984 to the present date, where he is now a partner.
Dave also keeps busy with community and civic activities. He has been a building representative for Hillview Grade School to obtain basketball and baseball coaches; an Assistant Boy Scout Leader; and has coached grade school and junior high baseball and basketball. He served on the Redistricting Committee for Sylvania Schools and on the Sylvania Schools Levy Campaign Committee in the 1996 election. Dave is on the Lucas County Democratic Party Executive Committee and is a member of Olivet Lutheran Church, where he also served as a Church Council Member from1996-2002.
Dave has been married to Kathy (Wilkowski) for 26 years. Kathy is also a Woodward graduate, Class of 1970. She was a friend of Dave's sister, LuAnn. When Dave first met Kathy, he commented to his sister, "that girl (Kathy) has some potential." Friends jokingly say that Dave "had a way with women, and was a Casanova of sorts". Dave has high praise for his wife. "She is a wonderful homemaker and was active in school parent organizations, and with our three children." Daughter Megan, 24,is a graduate of Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and a second-year law student at the University of Toledo. Son Matthew, 19, is a first-year student at the University of Dayton. Michael, 18, is a senior at St. John's Jesuit High School.
Dave considers politics to be one of his hobbies. "I've been Northwest Ohio campaign coordinator for the Ohio Attorney General and have worked on numerous campaigns for local candidates." Dave also enjoys golf, watching high school and college basketball games, and reading. "In the past two years, my sons and I have taken up fly fishing, traveling to various Ohio and Michigan streams, fishing for steelhead trout and salmon. Over the years, I have enjoyed coaching and helping with children’s sports, but with the kids all in college, I'll be looking for new hobbies. My wife is always thinking about a change or remodel for our home - so this has become somewhat of a hobby."
When Dave was informed that he was to be inducted into the Woodward Hall of Fame, he responded that he was "humbled and honored". "Woodward High School's teachers and students positively affected my life. I am proud to be a Woodward graduate. I can still say that my days in high school were some of the best for me. Being a class officer and participating in school activities allowed me to grow and develop leadership skills. However, most important was the environment of teachers and students who helped me develop as a person."
Dave Simko . . . what a guy! And what a great addition of the WHS Hall of Fame!