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Shirley J. Simonson

June 1, 1931 ~ June 21, 2019 (age 88)

Shirley J. Simonson, 88, of New London died Friday, June 21, 2019, at GlenOaks Care Center in New London.  Her funeral service will be 11:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2019, at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake in rural New London.  Burial will be at the church cemetery.  A visitation will be held Wednesday from 5-8:00 pm at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and continue one hour prior to the service at the church.  

Shirley J. Simonson was born June 1, 1931, on her family’s farm near Sunburg, the daughter of Clarence and Alma (Eliason) Hagen.  She was baptized on July 5, 1931, and confirmed on July 2, 1944, both at Monson Lake Lutheran Church in rural Sunburg.  Shirley grew up on the family farm where she attended District #19 Country School and went on to graduate from Kerkhoven High School with the Class of 1949.

On October 18, 1952, Shirley was united in marriage to Justin Simonson at Monson Lake Lutheran Church.  Five daughters were born to this union.  The family made their home on Justin’s family farm in the Arctander Township.  Shirley farmed side by side with Justin for 52 years before moving to Willmar to retire.  Justin died on May 16, 2010.  They shared in 57 years of marriage before his death.  In 2012 Shirley moved to GlenOaks Senior Living Community in New London where she continued to live until her death.

Shirley was a member of First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake.  She was active there in the choir, and altar guild; she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, and a vacation bible school teacher; and she served as the secretary of ALCW, and secretary and treasurer of the WELCA.  Shirley also was a 4-H leader and member of the Homemakers Club.  Shirley enjoyed gardening, embroidering, quilting, and playing cards.  She loved to have fun with the kids and dancing to the songs “Squirrely Shirley” and the “Chicken Dance, as well as other old-time music.  The coffee was always on and she always had baked goods ready to share.  Shirley was an amazing wife, mother, and grandmother who loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Shirley J. Simonson died Friday, June 21, 2019, at the age of 88.  She is survived by her daughters:  Geraldine “Geri” (Mike) Johnson of San Tan Valley, AZ, Audrey (Pete) Paulson of Belgrade, and Diane (Joe) Murray of Atwater; son-in-law, Rick Schirmers of Willmar; grandchildren:  Darin (Magen) Schirmers, Stephanie (Ben) Iverson, Todd (Stacie) Johnson, Troy Johnson, Travis (Emily) Roediger, Trever (Stephanie) Roediger, Heidi (Tom) Irvin, Kayla (Dan) Sampson, Melissa (Vaughn) Nelson, and Briana (Jared) Orn; and 22 great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by her siblings, Julia (George) Ruter of Willmar, and Charles (Doris) Hagen of Sunburg; sister-in-law, Carol Hagen of Sunburg; and many nieces and nephews.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Justin; an infant daughter; daughter, Lynnette Schirmers; brothers, Roger and Dennis Hagen; and sisters-in-law, Jean Hagen and Harriet Arnesen. 

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