Vibeke “Vibs” Andrea Simonsen of Chilmark and Delray Beach, Florida, died peacefully surrounded by her family on September 10, 2012. She was 95.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1917, she went to private school and then on to university. She married, had two children and coached aspiring Olympians in gymnastics and swimming for eight years.
After WWII, Vibeke and her second husband, Erik Simonsen, came to the United States and settled in New Canaan, Conn. For several years, she taught exercise classes and managed four children and many pets. She later opened The New Store in New Canaan, bringing Scandinavian design to Fairfield County. The New Store, her passion, was a small elegant store in which she took great pride.
Her keen sense of design and strong convictions were quickly recognized by noted Bauhaus architects Phillip Johnson, Eliot Noyes, and John Johanson who, among others, partnered with her in the creation of extraordinary contemporary interiors in their designs. She went on to lead corporate interior design internationally for Champion International, Lever Brothers, and other major corporations. Her work was often featured in Architectural Digest, Interiors, and other trade publications. Well known for her insightful grasp of the modern art movement, she acted as a consultant advising businesses on art investment and collection.
Vibeke retired in 1982 and thereafter spent her time travelling and enjoying her lovely homes in Chilmark, and Delray Beach. She delighted in spending time with her children and grandchildren, playing bridge with her friends, and reading.
She was predeceased by her son Sten Hasager and her husband, Erik. She is survived by her daughters Pernille Hasager (Poul Reinhard) of Denmark, Christine Clearwater of Delray Beach, Andrea Simonsen (Dan Downey) of Dillon, Mont., and her son, Erik “Rick” Simonsen Jr. (Kimberly) of Cambridge. She is also survived by grandchildren, Sara Simonsen Downey, Tucker Erik Simonsen, Ella Andrea Simonsen, Christian Roos, and Thomas Roos.
Vibeke will be deeply missed by her family and friends. A remembrance service is planned for the spring of 2013 in Menemsha.