Margaret E. Simonson

Thursday, September 24, 2015 2:15 pm

Margaret E. Simonson, 88, of Decorah, died peacefully at Barthell Order of Eastern Star Nursing Home Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. Memorial services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Chad Huebner officiating. Visitation begins Saturday at 10 a.m., one hour before services, at the church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Margaret Elizabeth (Minke) Simonson was born Sept. 23, 1926, to Raleigh C. and Hilda C. (Haar) Minke, in Toledo, Ohio. She was baptized in her parents’ home in Toledo Nov. 11, 1926. She graduated from DeVilbiss High School in Toledo, Ohio, with the class of 1944. While in high school, Margaret and her two sisters sang locally, which was the start of a lifelong love of music and singing. Upon graduating from high school, Margaret explored college and a nursing vocation before traveling to Los Angeles, Calif. with her brother to visit friends. She fell in love with California and decided to pursue her love of the Lutheran Church with seminary classes in Berkeley Calif. It was there that she met Conrad A. Simonson, whom she wed Aug. 28, 1955. To this union four children were born: Paul, Kathryn, Gail and Heidi. Margaret lived in Ohio, California, Arizona, Illinois and Decorah. She loved California the most. She worked many administrative positions on college campuses, here and in California, and her last position was as “the church lady” at the Mission Santa Clara, where she scheduled weddings in the beautiful Mission church. She loved knitting, reading good books, watching football, bicycling and walking around her neighborhood and holding babies. She loved the Lutheran Church, tithed religiously and hosted Bible studies until just a few years ago. She donated all her life to veterans’ groups, Native American Indian education and Habitat for Humanity.

Margaret is survived by her four children: Paul Simonson of Tustin, Calif., Kathryn (Steve “Nick”) Nichols of Topeka, Kans., Gail (Marty) Weis of Decorah and Heidi (Jack Ueberrhein) Simonson of La Selva Beach, Calif.; seven grandchildren: Nicole Myers of Laguna Beach, Calif., Ian Nichols of Minneapolis, Minn., Dylan Los Huertos of Berkeley, Calif., Kaia Los Huertos of San Diego, Calif., Colin Nichols of Topeka, Kans. and Spencer and Sophie Weis of Decorah; and eight beloved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Catherine Temple and Irene Ewy; her brother, Howard Minke; her brothers- and sister-in-law, Phil O’Neil, F. Dean Temple, Warren Ewy and Hazel Minke; her nephew, Don Ewy; and her beloved dog, Pippin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the First Lutheran Church, 604 W. Broadway St., Decorah, IA 52101.

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