Barbara Simon

Barbara Simon

Barbara Simon, textile artist, curator, dies at age 91

Barbara Elaine Simon, (nee Rich), St. Louis textile artist and curator, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at her home at McKnight Place.

Born January 18, 1930 in St. Louis to the late Samuel and Dorothy Rich, Barbara was married to the late Marvin Simon for 54 years.

After raising her four children in University City and Olivette, Mrs. Simon co-owned a successful yarn shop, Yarns Unlimited, in Clayton. She became an accomplished textile artist and later a curator of fiber art exhibitions.

Barbara was a vibrant person and much of her creative work reflected her progressive political ideals, as well as her love for nature and travel. She reflected, “My inspiration comes from places and experiences that have touched me deeply and left an indelible mark. I am attracted to the beauty of patterns found in nature, as well as the words and rhythms of poets.”

Barbara’s work was showcased in many local and national galleries and won the distinction of being published in leading textile art publications including Fiberworks. She was an active member of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild and Missouri Fiber Artists. Among her many credits and awards is the 1990 Jurors’ Award from the Missouri Fiber Artists, and the 1988 Award of Merit from the Handweavers Guild of America. Barbara contributed to the Fiber Artist community by leading workshops, teaching classes, and mentoring young artists in the community. Barbara was involved with Craft Alliance in University City for many years. Her career expanded to include jurying and curating many textile exhibitions featuring both local artists and artists from around the country.

Barbara believed in giving back to the community. In her early years, she was an active volunteer for St. Louis Book Fair. Her love for nature and environmental activism led her to open one of the first recycling centers in St. Louis. She spent many years volunteering with Ready Readers, inspiring a love of reading among preschoolers from low-income homes.

A private burial was held at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery on the 12th of February.

Barbara is survived by three sons, Randall Neustaedter of Redwood City, CA; Robert Simon of London, UK; and John Simon of Washington, DC; a daughter, Kathy Simon of St. Louis, MO; twelve grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; her beloved sister, Peggy Rich; her nephew, niece, and their families.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or a meaningful charity of your choice. Please visit for more information. BERGER MEMORIAL SERVICE