The New York Times is reporting that Stanley Simon, who was instrumental in bringing the Bulova Watchmaking School into being, has passed away in Manhattan. He was 93. The School, founded in 1945, became a model for industry-lead rehabilitation of disabled veterans. First conceived as World War II drew to an end, the school trained thousands of veterans in the watchmaker’s art.
The school was founded by company president Arde Bulova, who wanted to repay the service of returning veterans. He named it for his father Joseph, who founded the Bulova Watch Company in New York in 1875.
As Bulova’s industrial relations director, Stanley Simon played a central role in the school’s development. He oversaw construction of the school’s building, where ramps, automatic doors, and extra-wide elevators accommodated wheelchairs. An inscription on the school’s cornerstone reads simply “To serve those who served us.” Less than a year after the school opened, jewelers had pledged more than 1,400 jobs to its graduates.
The school operated for more than 50 years, serving veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars. An effort to move the school from Queens to Manhattan failed due to lack of funds, and the school closed its doors in 1997.
You can read an extended obituary on the New York Times website.