Vibeke (Vibs) Andrea Simonsen, of Copenhagen, Denmark, New Canaan, Conn., Delray Beach, Fla. and Chilmark, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Sept. 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 World War II, 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, among others who 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, Fla. 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 and husband Poul Reinhard of Denmark; Christine Clearwater of Delray Beach, Fla.; Andrea Simonsen and husband Dan Downey of Dillon, Mont; and her son, Erik (Rick) Simonsen Jr. and his wife Kimberley of Cambridge. She is also survived by grandchildren Sara Simonsen Downey, Tucker Erik Simonsen, Ella Andrea Simonsen, Christian Roos and Thomas Roos. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. A remembrance service is planned for spring 2013 in Menemsha.