Nadine Simons, 96

Nadine Simons, a former long-time resident of Sparks and Valentine, died November 26 in Gretna. She was 96.

Born Nadine Opal Strahan October 19, 1922, in David City, she was the fifth of seven children of Floyd and Ella Strahan. She lived her early years in nearby Linwood, where her father was employed as a trainman for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. Nadine attended Linwood High School for one year before her father was transferred to Missouri Valley, IA in 1937.

After graduating from Missouri Valley High School in 1940, she attended a business school in Omaha, where she met her future husband, Waldo Simons of Sparks. When World War II broke out the following year, Waldo enlisted in the Navy and went on to serve in the Pacific Theater while Nadine worked to support the war effort with jobs in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, TX.

Nadine and Waldo became engaged through the mails during the war and were married November 20, 1945, in Missouri Valley. Soon after, they moved to Sparks, where they took over Sparks Store from Waldo’s parents, John and Rose Simons.

The couple had three sons (Patrick James, Thomas Lee and Gregory Allen) in less than three years from September 1948 to July 1951 at a time when Sparks lacked both electricity and running water (Nadine saw to it that Sparks joined the 20th century as soon as possible after Greg’s birth). Their daughter, Peggy Ann, came along in 1960.

Nadine and the children moved to Valentine part-time in 1962 when Pat started high school. In Valentine, she worked for several years as a clerk at J.M. McDonald’s, a clothing store at the northeast corner of Second and Main streets, and later worked at S&S Farm Supply and as parts manager at NebKota Ford.

She maintained two homes until 1977, when she and Waldo became empty-nesters and she moved back to Sparks full-time.

Nadine loved doing things with her family and friends, especially camping excursions to the Niobrara River south of Sparks and the Sandhills lakes, as well as trips to Missouri Valley to visit her parents. In addition, she was active in the auxiliaries of the American Legion, 40 et 8 and VFW.

In 1985, the couple retired, sold Sparks and moved to Fremont. In retirement, Nadine became an avid reader and stayed active by volunteering with the Red Cross at the Fremont hospital and through a bridge club.

After Waldo died in 1996, she remained in Fremont until 2006, when she moved to Silver Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Support Center in Gretna. She lived at Silver Ridge until her death.

In addition to Waldo, she was also preceded in death by her parents, her three brothers and three sisters, and a great grandson, Lukis Laudenklos of Platte Center.

She is survived by her children-Patrick and wife Connie of Frisco, TX, Tom of Lincoln, Greg and wife Rose of Omaha, and Peggy Medema and husband Rick of Valentine; seven grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.

Burial with a Graveside Service will be at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell. No date has been set for the interment.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

921 E. 4th St.
P.O. Box 145
Ainsworth, NE 69210
PH: (402) 387-2844
FAX: (402) 387-1234

Valentine Midland News

146 W. 2nd St.
P.O. Box 448
Valentine, NE 69201
PH: (402) 376-2833
FAX: (402) 376-1946

Gregory Times-Advocate

119 E. 7th St.
P.O. Box 378
Gregory, SD 57533
PH: (605) 835-8089
FAX: (605) 835-8467