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Vibeke Simonsen, 95, Former New Canaan Designer

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Vibeke "Vibs" Andrea Simonsen, a former New Canaan resident, died Sept. 10 in Cambridge, Mass. She was 95.

Simonsen previously owned and operated the New Store in New Canaan.

Born July 12, 1917, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Simonsen attended private school and university. She married, had two children and coached aspiring Olympians in gymnastics and swimming for eight years.

After World War II, she and her second husband, Erik Simonsen, moved to the United States and settled in New Canaan. 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, her family said.

Simonsen worked for Champion International, Lever Brothers and other major corporations, leading corporate interior design internationally. Her work was often featured in Architectural Digest, Interiors and other trade publications.

She retired in 1982 and traveled and enjoyed her homes in Chilmark, Mass., and Delray Beach, Fla. She enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren, playing bridge with her friends and reading.

She is survived by three daughters, Pernille (Poul Reinhard) Hasager, of Denmark, Christine Clearwater, of Delray Beach, and Andrea (Dan Downey) Simonsen, of Dillon, Mont.; a son Erik "Rick" (Kimberley) Simonsen Jr., of Cambridge; and five grandchildren.

Simonsen was predeceased by a son, Sten Hasager; and her husband, Erik.

A remembrance service will be held next spring in Menemsha, Mass.

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