WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Freddy Simon, the man who is the namesake of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, has died at the age of 95.
His work ethic was crafted years before Freddy’s opened its doors.
Simon was the youngest of nine children and grew up on a farm near Colwich.
In 1943, Simon followed his three brothers to the military.
“[It was] part of life then. Everybody wanted to join and help,” he told KSN four years ago.
Simon said he wanted to be a fighter pilot but after learning he was colorblind, he was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.
“They were very orientated,” he said. “I mean they were first class.”
After training in New Zealand, it was in the Philippines where Simon fought for our country.
“We didn’t complain at all,” he said. “We knew we had a job to do and we were going to do it.”
Simon earned honors like the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Marksmanship award and the Philippines service medal.
“Shot by a sniper. There were snipers in about every building in Manila,” Simon said. “We don’t talk too much about that, but I have a lot since then.”
Despite his injuries, Simon fought on.
“I got the Purple Heart and thought that was my ticket home but it didn’t turn out that way because they needed everybody they could keep,” he said. “The First Cavalry Division was one of the finest divisions in WWII.”
After he was honorably discharged from military duty, he returned to Kansas and pursued an accounting degree at Wichita University under the GI Bill.
He married Norma Jean Kerschen in 1947. They raised six children, five sons and one daughter.
Simon spent 55 years in the hospitality industry before Freddy’s opened and was named after him.
His sons, Bill and Randy Simon, co-founded Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers in 2002 with their friend and business partner Scott Redler.
After Simon retired, he shared his time and resources with many military and charitable organizations.
On the Freddy’s website, one of the quotes attributed to Freddy Simon is:
Smile, even though times get tough occasionally. It is a proven fact that smiling adds at least 7 years to your life.”Freddy Simon