Stella May Simonsen
June 17, 1923 – April 2, 2019
Stella Simonsen, 95, passed away Tuesday April 2, 2019 in her home in Grants Pass surrounded by family. Stella was born June 17, 1923 in Hollister, CA to Lewis & Lila Aylor. She was an only-child and graduated from Hollister High School in 1941. She married Axel Simonsen that same year. During World War II they moved to Seattle, WA where they both worked in defense plants to aid in the war efforts. In 1943 they bought a 93-acre dairy in Centralia, WA and farmed there until 1947 when they returned to Hollister. There they welcomed their first son, Paul, in 1948. In 1949 they moved to Etna, CA and ran a 180-acre cattle ranch. They moved to Wilderville, OR in 1953 and welcomed their 2nd son, Peter, in 1954. The family lived there until 1958 when they bought a smaller 6-acre farm on Leonard Rd in Grants Pass. Axel worked as a mechanic, so Stella usually did most of the farm work. She loved farm life, especially dairy cows, and loved milking. She was active in the PTA and served as a 4H Dairy leader for many years. She also worked as a teacher’s aide at Jerome Prairie School for 9 years until she retired in 1986.She lived on her farm on Leonard Rd for 48 years until 2006, when at age 83,she broke her ankle moving irrigation pipes. This finally forced her to downsize and sell the farm. She then moved into town across from her son Pete and became a self-proclaimed “city-slicker”.
She is survived by her two sons, Paul & Pete Simonsen, daughter-in-law, Jackie Simonsen, 3 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Axel (1988), Grandson JP Simonsen (2018), & Daughter-in-law Arlene Simonsen (2019).
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Fruitdale Grange on Saturday May 4, 2019, at 1 p.m. Her ashes will be laid to rest in the Granite Hill Cemetery in a plot next to her husband & her dog, Auggie.
Celebration of Life
1440 Parkdale Dr.