Rock Valley, IA: Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, February 12, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rock Valley with Pastor Edward Pease officiating. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery in Rock Valley. Visitation, with the family present, will be held Wednesday, February 12 from 5:30-7:00 PM at Porter Funeral Home in Rock Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation in Eleanor’s memory to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rock Valley or to the charity of your choice.
Eleanor Patricia (Andersen) Simonsen, 1937-2020, age 82, died peacefully on February 11, 2020, at Whispering Heights in Rock Valley, Iowa. Eleanor was a loving grandmother, mother, wife, and daughter whose life revolved around spreading God’s love through selfless acts of kindness.
Eleanor was born to Lars and May (Thompson) Andersen on March 17, 1937, in Jasper, Minnesota. She was a graduate of Irene High School and attended Augustana College where she obtained a teaching certificate in elementary education. Eleanor enjoyed teaching 6th grade at Eugene Field Elementary School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While visiting her sister, Marilyn Liaboe in Rock Valley, she met Russell Paul Simonsen and on July 26, 1959 they were married. She left full-time teaching to support Russell’s veterinary practice and raise their four children, instilling in all of them a love of God, learning, and family.
Eleanor was a devoted member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rock Valley for over 60 years. Eleanor served the parish in many ways including church president, treasurer, deacon, and Sunday school teacher. Her faith and gentle helping spirit were felt by all who knew her.
Eleanor’s passion for learning was matched by her undaunted spirit. With all four children still at home, she went back to school to complete her undergraduate degree in elementary education at Augustana College. With degree in hand, she spent many years substitute teaching in the Rock Valley School District.
Family was of utmost importance to Eleanor. She cherished attending the many sporting and music events of her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Eleanor brought infectious enthusiasm to all she did, including bridge, quilting, perusing garage sales, and especially her service to Justice for All.
Eleanor is survived by her husband of 61 years, Russell of Rock Valley; daughters, Susan (Terry) Van Maanen of Rock Valley, Linda (Lisa Graumlich) Simonsen of Seattle, Washington, and Debra (Robert) Fixen of Cedar Falls, Iowa; son, Richard (Beth Larson) Simonsen of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; grandchildren, Trey (Andrea) Van Maanen, Quinn Van Maanen, Micayla Graumlich Simonsen, Myles Van Maanen, Jack Simonsen, Kiersten Fixen, Ben Simonsen, Gretchen Fixen, Maya Graumlich Simonsen, and Allison Fixen; and one brother, Lyle (Chris) Andersen of Bozeman, Montana.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lars and May; brother, Leon Andersen; and sister, Marilyn (Andersen) Liaboe.