Live Chat: As we continue to cover the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, reporters from the Palm Beach Post will be available to answer your questions. Join us for a live chat today, July 8 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Submit your questions and follow the live chat here.
Simon Segal was known as a quick-witted and lifelong bachelor who was quite honest in life as well as his engineering career.
The tragic irony is that the 80-year-old resident of Unit 1203 – the penthouse – at the Champlain South Tower was confirmed as one of the dead in the building collapse on June 24. His body was found on Tuesday.
Isaac Osin had just come from Cuba to the Miami area in the early 1960s when he met Segal and started a friendship that spanned decades. A common thread for the two men was that Segal had Cuban roots, having been born in Havana in 1941.
“Everyone knew him as Simoncito”
“I knew him pretty well when we were young,” said Osin, who now lives in Fort Myers. “I met him when I arrived from Cuba. I was 13. He was a little older than us. We were very impressed with him – he was a graduate. He was already an engineer and already had a nice car. . “
Segal also fascinated young Osin with his quick wit.
“He was very funny, always with a joke,” he recalls of Segal.
Osin mentioned his friend Segal when talking about his own sister, Ofi Osin-Cohen, and his brother-in-law, Barry Cohen, who also lived in Champlain Sud. Both survived the collapse.
The older Segal was a longtime bachelor, Osin said, and a regular at his synagogue, many of whose members were of Cuban descent.
“He was always at our dances,” he said. “He adapted to everyone. He was studious and very intelligent. He was just a fun guy.”
Osin said Segal was given a nickname; because of his small size, he was known as “Simoncito”.
“Everyone knew him as Simoncito. Everyone knew who he was. We all had nicknames,” said Osin, now 73, although he said that Segal’s nickname didn was not used as derogatory. “He used to hang out. He looked younger than me.
Osin said his friend had never generated a negative reaction: “There is no one who can say bad things about him. He has always been a great person.”
The engineer spoke several languages, had his own construction company
Segal was a professional engineer specializing in highways and bridges, real estate development and construction, structural engineering, construction management and more.
His list of skills ranged from professional engineer to real estate and mortgage broker, fluent in IT and multilingual with fluency in Spanish and conversation in Portuguese, Italian and French.
He has spent much of his career reviewing engineering test reports, evaluating engineering, working on structural design, government permits, strength design, stress design and everything in between. in the construction of structures, highways and bridges.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cornell University and two Masters of Science in Management and Finance, and a Masters of Business Administration from Florida International University. Segal has also taught others through graduate and undergraduate education at CRF and Cornell.
A glance at Segal’s resume shows just how deep that experience was.
His professional experience spanned the gamut of work as a Senior Engineer and Product Control Examiner for A&A Arnold and Associates in Hialeah, CK Construction Associates in Bay Harbor, his own Simon Segal Construction in Miami Beach and Brighton Engineering in Miami Lakes. and Indianapolis.
Segal was a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and had been a member of the Florida Engineering Society, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of American Military Engineers, and the Cornell Society of Engineers.