Longtime Missouri Supreme Court clerk dies at 71

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An attorney who served nearly 40 years as the clerk of the Missouri Supreme Court has died.

The court says Thomas F. Simon died Sunday at Capital Regional Medical Center in Jefferson City. He was 71. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Simon became clerk in 1972 and retired in May 2011. Chief Justice Richard Teitelman said Missouri officials believe he was the longest-serving high-court clerk in the nation.

Simon was born in the St. Louis area and earned his law degree in 1965 from Saint Louis University.

As clerk, he worked to modernize Missouri's courts at all levels. He also worked with legislators to stabilize the judiciary's budget and fund technology improvements.

The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter Catholic Church in Jefferson City.