Simon Joseph McAteer, formerly of Wheeling and recently a resident in Pennsylvania, died Saturday night, March 24, in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. The cause was an overdose of drugs and alcohol.

Simon was born in Washington, DC, on April 12, 1986. His first decade of life was spent living and traveling in Africa and Italy with his parents, who were part of the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. It is possible that the sense of relative freedom and affluence he enjoyed in these years contributed to Simon’s somewhat casual regard for the law in later times.

Simon graduated from Wheeling Central Catholic in 2004, and briefly attended Community Colleges in the region. He is survived by his parents, John Egan McAteer and Angela Dagnolo McAteer, as well as his brother Marius Peter McAteer, all residents of Wheeling.

From his youth on, Simon struggled to find an acceptable way to employ and develop his high intelligence and great health. He made many poor decisions, for which he frequently paid a heavy price. He was one of very few individuals to be officially expelled from both the Boy Scouts of America and the U.S. Army. But Simon never complained about his punishments, choosing to conform and adapt where necessary. He was always ready for hard work, whether it meant delivering newspapers, cleaning toilets or vigorous yard work.

He was successful in finding employment in landscaping in Pittsburgh and at the time of his death, had completed a promising apprenticeship in painting/interior decorating in Wheeling. Of more importance, Simon used that time in Wheeling to restore and strengthen his family relationships. Uninvoked and unacknowledged, God’s grace was clearly at work in Simon’s last days.

Memorial funeral arrangements on this occasion are somewhat different than usual. There will not be a vigil service or “viewing” period at a funeral home. Instead, friends and colleagues are welcome to stop in at the McAteer residence in Wheeling at 38 Orchard Road, on the days of Thursday, March 28 through Saturday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. to share memories and condolences with the family. Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Should one wish to make a contribution in Simon’s name, Kate Marshall’s home, where she offers, showers, hot meals and laundry facilities for the homeless of Wheeling, is a worthy local establishment. Assistance can be sent directly to: Kate Marshall, House of Hagar, 114 14th St., Wheeling, WV 26003 (304-218-8373).

Condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.kepnerfuneral.com.

Arrangements by Kepner Funeral Home, 900 National Rd., Wheeling, WV (304-232-2732).