Obituary: Lorrayne Simonson (Feb. 25th, 1923 – Feb. 13, 2014)

By Submitted February 17, 2014 02:30 pm

Lorrayne Violet Simonson, who made her home in Smith River for over 50 years, passed away at her home in New Meadows, Idaho, Feb. 13, with family and her beloved husband of 73 years, Leland, by her side. 

She was born, Feb. 25, 1923, in Portland, Ore., to John and Mattie Zoon. She grew up in the Ridgefield, Wash., area where she met and fell in love with Leland. They married at the Foursquare Church in Vancouver, Wash., Oct. 26, 1940.

They spent about 10 years in Eastern Oregon, where Leland and his Dad ran logging operations, often staying in camps. Then in 1950, Lorrayne and Leland moved to Smith River, where they bought timber land and owned and operated Simonson Lumber Company for 30 years. Lorrayne was the early bookkeeper for the company. After the sale of Simonson Lumber Company in 1979, the Simonsons went on to start a land development company, Simpco Lands, with many holdings and projects, including the development of a destination resort, Kimberland Meadows (now Meadow Creek Resort), close to where they eventually relocated in Central Idaho in 2001. 

Lorrayne was known for her lovely yard on Fred Haight Drive and could often be seen mowing the lawn or tending her flowers or vegetable garden. Her love of nature was strong. She was also an avid fisherman and usually caught the biggest fish. She loved to hunt and camp with her family and really enjoyed building and sitting around the campfire. She had a special place in her heart for children, dogs and horses.

Lorrayne was very involved at the Crescent City Foursquare Church, where she was the Sunday School Superintendent for over 25 years. She had a great passion for children and loved teaching them about God and training others to do the same. Hundreds of children attended the church’s Vacation Bible Schools under her direction and care. Lorrayne always went the extra mile to make things special.

She also loved to travel. She and Leland were blessed to experience many wonderful places around the world. They would often include visiting the local missionaries in their travels. She was a lifelong learner and had a love of reading and exploring new ideas. She was always a little ahead of her time.

Lorrayne was Mother and Grandmother extraordinaire. She could often be seen pitching baseball to her grandkids, wearing a catcher’s mask so she wouldn’t get hit in the face (this came from experience). She loved to cook and always had special treats ready for the grandkids when they came to visit. She wrote original suspense stories for the kids who would eagerly await each new installment. Lorrayne had a special knack for making things fun and interesting and was never idle for long. A hard worker and wonderful nurturer, she loved her family well.

She is survived by her husband of 73 years, Leland Simonson, son Larry and wife Nancy Simonson, daughter LeeAnn and husband Roger Mattison, daughter Loretta and husband Mark Coleman, daughter Lavonne and husband Dave Powell, sister-in law Betty Zoon, grandchildren Grant (Trish), Darren (Dawn), Todd (Anita) and Amber (Patrick Bird) Simonson; Nichole (Aaron) Wells; Heidi (Kyle) Otteni; Anthony (Jen) Mattison; Philip (Kimiko) and Matthew Coleman; Jonathan (Jessica), Reid (Jen), Craig and Gabriel Powell. She has 20 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who dearly love her.

Services for Lorrayne Simonson will be held at the Foursquare Church, 144 Butte St., in Crescent City, on Friday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m. There will be a reception following with coffee and dessert. The family invites the public to join in the celebration of Lorrayne’s life.