Obituary: Lisa Simone, 25, doctoral student in physical therapy

Lisa Simone

Lisa Cristine Simone, 25, a doctoral candidate in the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, died unexpectedly Sept. 29, 2015, in St. Louis.

Ms. Simone, who was to receive a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree in May 2016, took her life.

Ms. Simone loved music and played several instruments, with the cello her favorite. She also loved to draw, lift weights and shop – particularly if the shopping involved schooling her father, brother and male friends on how to keep their wardrobes up to date.

Her greatest passion, however, was dance. She began dance lessons at age 3, trained for many years at the Saint Louis Ballet School and eventually performed with the company. At age 15, she played the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker.”

Her love of dance also led to her career choice. She was inspired to become a physical therapist after suffering a serious dance injury and being treated by Lynnette Khoo-Summers, DPT, an associate professor of physical therapy at Washington University. The ability to isolate and understand movement fascinated her, and she was thrilled when she was accepted into the university’s Program in Physical Therapy.

Lisa Simone works with Lynnette Khoo-Summers, DPT, who treated her for a dance injury. The experience inspired her to study physical therapy. (Credit: Robert Boston)

She was a deeply committed student who took great pride in the profession of physical therapy. During graduate school, she was especially dedicated to working with patients with neurological problems.

A St. Louis-area native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, summa cum laude, from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

She is survived by her parents, Tom and Tina Simone; her brother, Nick Simone; and her grandparents, Ray and Doris Simone, and Perry Tiongson.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 17 Ann Ave., Valley Park, Mo. There will be a visitation directly following the Mass, in the lower level of the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to support narcolepsy research, in memory of Timothy Burnight, at Stanford University Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, Calif. 94309.