James A. Simonson passed away peacefully on Tuesday July 17, at his home surrounded by family and friends. He was born March 16, 1936, to James A. and Lucille Simonson. He attended a country school in rural Preston. On February 14, 1955 he enlisted into the Army and was honorably discharged in 1957. Once he returned from the service he began farming and he never stopped. On September 27, 1958 he was married to Rita Bacon at Union Prairie Lutheran Church.
Throughout his lifetime Jim had several jobs and was an active member of the community. His first job was hauling milk for the Preston Creamery. He also enjoyed spending his time auctioneering, helping the local veterinarian and selling Kaltenberg seed. Jim was a lifelong member of Union Prairie Church and served on many boards. He was a member of the Preston Township board for 18 years. He also served on the Southeast MN Corn Growers board which lead him to be a founding member of the Southeast Minnesota Ethanol LLC, known as POET today. James had many interests and enjoyed bowling, hunting, fishing, church dinners, and sports, but especially football where he served as a Chain Gang member for over 45 years. Jim was a dear friend to the Amish community and one thing about him was that whenever you saw him, he always had a ticket to sell you.
Jim will be dearly missed by his wife, Rita, of 60 years. He is survived by his children: one son Dean (Tammy) Simonson of Preston and three daughters: Donna (Denny Gilgenbach) Shanahan of Rochester, Denise (Troy) Case of Preston, Deb (Doug) Ristau of Preston; his many grandchildren; Kris Hunnicutt, Kyle (Ann) Shanahan, Melissa Simonson, Mitchell (Ashley) Simonson, Ashley (Phil) LaFleur, Austen (Kaila) Case, Taylor Case, Kelsey (Joe) Woellert, Kate (Bryce) Brincks, Brady Ristau. Great-grandchildren; Jackson, Addison, Braelynn, Hudson, Reese, Graham, Otto. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Charles Winch and sister-in-law Phyllis Amy and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Jerome (Maxine) Simonson and Lyle (Joyce) Simonson, and sisters Emma Janice Winch and Alta (John) McCarthy; also, a brother-in-law Curtis Amy and granddaughter Amy Ristau.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 PM on Sunday, July 22,2018 at the Union Prairie Lutheran Church in rural Lanesboro and will continue one hour prior to service on Monday. The funeral service will be held at 1 PM at Union Prairie Lutheran Church on Monday, July 23, 2018. Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Memorials may be made to Seasons Hospice or Union Prairie Lutheran Church.