Leslie Ray Simonsen
Father, grandfather, husband, and friend, Leslie Ray Simonsen, 80, of Branson, Missouri went to be with our heavenly Father on December 10, 2019, surrounded by his three daughters.
Les was born March 25, 1939 in Marion, Iowa, the son of Mildred (Webster) and Harold Simonsen. He was the oldest of five children. He grew up in Marion, Iowa and attended Marion Public Schools.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1957 and served as a radar operator. He was part of the 744th AC&W Squadron in Murphy Dome, Alaska and was also stationed in Blaine, Washington and the Pacific Northwest. He was very proud to have served his country, and enjoyed sharing stories about his time in Alaska and Washington State.
He moved to Branson, Missouri in 1975 and worked for Consumers Markets until he retired in 1999.
He married Judith Ebeling on December 3, 1976 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Branson.
In his retired years, he enjoyed being a doting grandfather. Everyone knew him as “Bobbop” and he was quite popular on helper day at preschool. He never knew a stranger, and anyone who met him could tell he had a huge heart and a kind spirit. He said the purpose of life is to love each other, and that is exactly what he did. He enjoyed spending time with his family the most. He also enjoyed the simple things in life – caring for his lawn (which he was very proud of!), baking his signature chocolate chip cookies, going for his morning walk at the local RecPlex, fishing, water skiing, woodworking, and tinkering with just about everything.
Les is survived by his daughters Lanette Simonsen and husband Norman of Ocala, Florida; Teresa Martin and husband Matt of Branson, MO; and LeAnne Gilliland and husband LaMont of Branson, MO; six grandchildren Hilary, Eric, Emile, Alex, Madison and Mallory; brother Dennis Simonsen and wife Jean of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sister Cheryl Mills and husband Glenn of Walker, Iowa; cousins, family members and numerous friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and two brothers.
Memorial donations in Les’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at stjude.org or 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
A celebration of Les’s life will be Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home and Crematory in Branson. Visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M. and the service at 10:00 A.M. with Pastor Ted Burden officiating and military honors by the United States Air Force and Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 913. Burial will be at a later time in Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery, Branson.