George R. A. Simenson, 85

Thief River Falls – George Simenson, 85, Thief River Falls, passed away on Thursday, August 9, 2018 at Altru Hospital, Grand Forks, ND with his loving family by his side.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls. Burial will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the funeral on Wednesday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.

George Ralph Anton Simenson was born on March 12, 1933 in Baker, the son of Ralph and Connie (Cornish) Simenson. The family moved to Thief River Falls in 1934. He attended Northrup Elementary and Lincoln High Schools in Thief River Falls. After school, George worked odd jobs including at Northern Woodwork and building elevators.

In May of 1952 George enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He did basic training at Lackland AFB in Texas followed by Air Traffic Controllers School at Keesler AFB in Mississippi. George was stationed at Bases including Vienna, Austria, Linz, Austria, Munich, Germany, Phalsbourg, France, Sevilla, Spain, Sacramento, California, Reno, Nevada, Saigon and DaNang, Vietnam, Udorn Air Base, Thailand, Grand Forks AFB in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Philippines. He was unit of the Air Force and his final duty assignment was with the 321st HSS/SAC where he worked in all phases, from instructor, coordinator, supervisor and administrator.

“Bases small, remote, to some of the busiest in the world. I have established procedures to make Air Traffic Control Systems operational at new Bases, de-activated systems at Bases when closing and established temporary systems under both peace time and combat conditions. My duties have made necessary to deal with high ranking US Military, civilian and Foreign Nationals with very good results. As an instructor and trainer I have enjoyed very good relations with young people. During my time in the Air Force I have also become familiar with the operation of some heavy equipment and some construction. My last two years, I have been a Facility Manager of a Minuteman Missile Launch Control Site.”

Following 21 years of active duty, George was Honorably Discharged in April of 1973.

On November 25, 1955 George was united in marriage to Lucil Anna Loeffler at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls. To this union five children were born: Mark was born in Thief River Falls in 1957, Debra was born in Seville, Spain in 1958, Connie was born in Seville, Spain in 1959, Claudia was born in North Sacramento, CA in 1960 and Charles was born in Reno, NV in 1962. The family traveled a great deal as a result of George’s 21 years of service with the United States Air Force.
In 1968 the Simenson family returned to rural Thief River Falls to live on a hobby farm where they raised their children. They had horses, cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, a rabbit and always a big garden.

George and Lucil traveled many places together including, Hawaii, Japan, England and throughout the United States and Canada. In 2015 George enjoyed a solo trip to revisit Austria and Germany. He enjoyed visiting, telling stories, maintaining relations with military, relatives, friends and strangers. Photography, carpentry, traveling, social networking, music and spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were passions for George.

After retirement George worked as a rural mail carrier for the United States Postal Service, carpentry work and Johnson’s Boarding Home.

George was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, American Legion Post 117, and the Disabled American Veterans. In late July of 2018 after much thought and not wanting to take any chances, George became baptized, confirmed and joined St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.

Survivors include his loving children, Debra (David) Davidson of Thief River Falls, Connie (Lee) Wensole of Plymouth, Claudia (Blaine) Aslakson of Maple Lake, Charley (Lisa) Simenson of Thief River Falls; 9 grandchildren, Richard (Andi) Nelson, Crystal Nelson, Justin (Rebecca) Simenson, Jade Leeper, Nathan (Jenna) Finneman, Nicholas (Abbi) Finneman, Danielle Simenson, and Riley (Chelsy Grover) Simenson; great-grandchildren, Parker, Victoria, Amya, Cora, Gunnar, Soren, Grace, Alissa, Blair, Trygg, Gage and Aurora; sister, Susan (Dave) Jankovich; sisters-in-law, Georgia Simenson and Adeline Loeffler; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his loving wife of 58 years, Lucil in 2014; son, Mark; granddaughter, Kadie Leeper; siblings, Becky Tonsfeldt, Audrey Walz, Robert Simenson and Claudia Simenson.

Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com