Simon Peter Brzozowski, Jr., was born on December 10, 1923, in Gonzales, TX. His parents, S. P. (Sam) and Marianna (Mary) [Wostal] Brzozowski lived in a small house that stood on the edge of the winding Guadalupe River.
Simon was baptized, confirmed, and received his Christian education at St. James Catholic Church in Gonzales, where his parents, grandparents and many aunts and uncles worshiped. After graduating from Gonzales High School at the age of 16, he attended Baldwins Business College in Yoakum. Three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Simon turned 18 and started his first job at Kelly Field in San Antonio as a messenger of internal mail distributing technical orders on base.
He was inducted into the Army Air Corps at Fort Sam Houston in April 1943, and served more than 9 years during World War II and post war at the Army Finance School. During those nine years of active duty, Simon was stationed in New Guinea at the Headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur’s South Pacific operations. He was also stationed in Nuremberg, Germany post war during the Nurnberg Criminal War Trials, serving in Army Finance. He returned to the U.S. and was assigned to the Army Finance School and in 1952 was honorably discharged at the rank of Master Sergeant.
Simon entered the Holy Family Seminary in St. Louis, MO., in the fall of 1955 and began 9 years of study for the priesthood, which included college course studies, church history and philosophy. He completed 2 years as a Novice at the Holy Family Novitiate in Hillman, Minnesota then returned to St. Louis for 4 years of theology. Father Simon was ordained on March 14, 1964, as a priest with the Missionaries of the Holy Family Order by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ritter, Archbishop of Saint Louis. Father Simon returned to his home parish of St. James on June 7, 1964 to celebrate his first Mass. He is the first priest to be ordained from St. James Catholic Church in Gonzales, Texas.
Father Simon’s assignments included teaching high school at the Minor Seminary in St. Louis, before being assigned as assistant pastor at St. James and Sacred Heart in Gonzales, and St. Patrick’s in Waelder. He also served at parishes in Nixon, Smiley, New Braunfels, Beeville, Jourdanton, Helena, Charlotte, and Corpus Christi. While in Corpus, Father Simon served 12 years as hospital chaplain at Memorial Hospital and 2 nursing homes nearby.
Father Simon served as Chaplain for 8 years at the Little Sisters of the Poor Hospital, a 250 bed facility in St. Louis. Then he moved to the 70-unit resident facility of the Little Sisters in Louisville, KY where he served as Chaplain for 14 years.
After returning to Texas to ‘retire’ in 2012, Father Simon assisted staff at the Formation House in San Antonio and at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Seguin. He celebrated his 50th Jubilee at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Donna, TX, and at St. James Church in Gonzales. He officially retired to Padua Place in San Antonio at the age of 93.
Father Simon attained the age of 99 years 1 month and 28 days. He passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on February 7, 2023, at Padua Place in San Antonio. There is great rejoicing and celebration in heaven with family and friends.
Father Simon was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Mary Brzozowski, and sister Mary Ann Araiza. Also preceding him were his brother’s in-law Roland Breitschopf, Rudy Hrncirik, Jr., and Pete Araiza, Jr. as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.
He is survived by his brother, James V. Brzozowski and wife Leona of Garwood; and sisters Jean Hrncirik of Bebe, June Cowey and husband Lee of Nixon, Jane Allen and husband Bobby of Nixon and Barbara Breitschopf of Georgetown. Father Simon is loved by his many nieces and nephews and all of their children.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Rev. Philip Sosa, Provincial of the Missionaries of the Holy Family, North America Order; the amazing staff at Padua Place in San Antonio for their constant care and love to Father Simon and to Sister Mary Jane of the Missionary Servants of St. Anthony; the congregations of St. James in Gonzales and St. Joseph’s in Donna where Father celebrated his 50th Jubilee in 2014, and the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus in Donna who sponsored his World War II Veterans Honor Trip to Washington, D.C. Special thanks to those who visited Father Simon at Padua Place and brought him his favorite German Chocolate Cake and provided barbecue for all the staff.
Memorial gifts may be given to Padua Place, 80 Peter Baque Rd., San Antonio, TX 78209 and to the Missionaries of the Holy Family, 3014 Oregon Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118.
Pallbearers: Mike Brzozowski, Kevin Araiza, Jeremy Swick, Jared Van Auken, James Brzozowski, Jr., and Troy Pinkston
Honorary Pallbearers: Lee Cowey, Bobby Allen and Steve Hrncirik, Jr.
Visitation and Rosary: February 17, 2023 from 5 - 7 p.m., Seydler Funeral Home in Gonzales
Celebration of Life Mass: February 18, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church Gonzales.
Interment will follow, with full military honors, at St. James Catholic Cemetery.
Friends may sign the guestbook and leave condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, 906 St. Paul St., Gonzales, TX 78629