The Obituary of Dr. Frederick Anthony Simeone

(June 8, 1936 – June 11, 2022)

Dr. Frederick Anthony Simeone (86) of Philadelphia passed away peacefully while surrounded by family on Saturday evening at Pennsylvania Hospital, a place he considered a second home.

Frederick grew up in the Kensington & Allegheny neighborhood of Philadelphia and attended Thomas Edison High School. He received a college scholarship to Temple University and continued there for medical school before completing residencies at the Mayo Clinic and University of Pennsylvania. He performed research and neurosurgery as full-time faculty at Harvard University Medical school, later becoming Chairman of Neurosurgery at Pennsylvania Hospital for over 25 years. As Chief of Neurosurgery at Jefferson Medical College, Dr. Simeone convinced the Wills Eye Institute in cooperation with Thomas Jefferson University to provide space for specialized neurosurgical procedures such as stereotaxis, interventional radiology, and complex spine surgery. He performed original research on cerebral vasospasm and published widely on a broad array of neurosurgical topics, including the seminal textbook on spinal surgery, The Spine, co-authored with Dr. Richard Rothman. 

After intense days of performing and preparing for surgery, Fred relaxed with automotive research. He methodically investigated and procured vehicles he considered works of art, growing the four cars inherited from his father to a collection of over 75 rare antiques. Fred established the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in 2008, donating his collection of racing sports cars and automobile literature for posterity and public display. His museum was recognized as the best in the world by the Classic Car Trust (2019), International Car Museum of the Year by the Octane Awards (2017), and Car Museum of the Year by the International Historic Motoring Awards (2011). His Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was the first car to be placed on the National Historic Vehicle Register (2014) and his book on automobile preservation was named publication of the year by the International Historic Motoring Awards (2013). The quality of the collection is attributed to his preservation philosophy (restore not rebuild), focus on vehicles with racing histories, and the collection’s uniting theme, “The Spirit of Competition”. Owing to his interest in genetics, this theme reflects his fascination with the evolution of vehicle design to win competitions during the first decades of the automobile.

Dr. Simeone was a Major in the U.S. Army and was knighted (Cavaliere) by the president of the republic of Italy.

In addition to his many achievements, he was a kind-hearted, warm, and relatable person with a fantastic sense of humor, who would do anything to help a friend in need. Importantly, Fred was the best father in the world. Despite his busy schedule and intense responsibilities, he managed to always make his daughter feel loved and that she was his number-one priority. He taught his daughter how to be an ethical person, the importance of finding a career with passion, the necessity of giving back, and the joy of optimistic hard work. He listened on the phone for hours when she needed to talk and helped guide her through every challenge until she learned to guide herself.

Frederick is survived by his daughter (Christina Simeone, PhD), son-in-law (Jonathan Burton), and granddaughter (Alessandra Burton).

A public memorial for Dr. Simeone will be held on Thursday, June 16 at the
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Please visit anytime from 3 pm to 7 pm.

If you would like to record a video or written message for Dr. Simeone’s friends and family, you can do so here.

Hours and Info

6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Tuesday – Friday 10AM through 6PM
Saturday – Sunday 10AM through 4PM
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays

About the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through our theme, “The Spirit of Competition”, we celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and more.

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