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January 18, 2003

Nashua man killed in Florida

From: Nashua Telegraph, NH - 18 Jan 2003

By STEPHANIE HOOPER, Telegraph Staff

A longtime Nashua businessman was struck by a car and killed Thursday night while staying in Florida.

Normand Simoneau, 67, of 18 Watson St., died at a hospital in Delray Beach, Fla., after he was struck by a Mazda Miata in front of his Delray Beach residence at 101 NE 8th Ave., Delray Beach police said.

The accident happened at approximately 8:37 p.m. and Simoneau was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m., police said.

As of Friday, no charges had been filed against the driver of the Miata, Catherine Magilton, 57, of Delray Beach.

An investigation into the accident is still pending, but police said alcohol appeared to be a factor.

At the time he was hit, Simoneau was standing near the condominium helping his son to navigate his car to a parking area, police said.

Simoneau’s son and daughter-in-law and their baby had just arrived at the Florida condominium from out of town and all three were in the car when the accident happened, police said.

Simoneau was the son of Alexandre Simoneau, who owned the former Simoneau Coal & Oil of Nashua. Alexandre Simoneau died in May 2001 at the age of 102.

Normand Simoneau’s son Kirk, who is a motivational speaker and writes a weekly business column for The Sunday Telegraph, wrote last May about a conversation he had with his grandfather about his father, who was born deaf.

“Normand was deaf, but he was smart. Smarter than most and with that parking lot, smarter than me,” Kirk Simoneau wrote, quoting his grandfather.

Normand Simoneau made his fortune operating a parking lot in Hampton Beach.

Alexandre Simoneau owned the Hampton Beach property and had rented out cottages there for years, his grandson wrote.

In his 20s, Normand Simoneau began selling parking spaces for beachgoers on portions of his father’s property.

The cottages proved to be a better family vacation spot than a business, but Normand talked his father into selling him the land and cottages, Kirk Simoneau wrote.

Shortly after he sold his son the property, Alexandre Simoneau returned to the site to find his son tearing down the cottages.

Kirk Simoneau wrote that his grandfather thought his son was a fool for ripping down the structures, but was soon proved wrong.

“By the end of June, Normand was parking cars, lots of cars. Made more money, his money, in one summer than I had in four,” Kirk Simoneau said his grandfather told him.

“He was deaf, couldn’t hear a thing. All he needed was a sign, ‘Parking 25 cents.’ ”

© 2003, Telegraph Publishing Company, Nashua, New Hampshire