SPIRIT LAKE - A celebration of life will be held at a date to be determined in Spring 2014 for Velma Olney Simon, 90, of Spirit Lake and formerly Estherville.
She peacefully passed away surrounded by loved ones on Nov 3, 2013, in her home in Spirit Lake.
Born on Dec 19, 1922, in Estherville, Vel was the second child of Raymond and Josephine Olson of rural Dolliver. Raised on a dairy farm, Vel was active in Dolliver High School sports and was her class salutatorian before attending Kahler Nursing School in Rochester, Minn. After graduation, she entered the Army Nursing Corps as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed in Kansas, Hawaii, Leyte, the Philippines and Japan during and at the close of World War II. In Japan, she met her future husband and father of her four children, Gregory L. Olney of Downey, Calif.
She spent the next 25 years as an Army officer's spouse. After retiring from the Army to begin a career farming in the Dolliver area in 1969, Greg was killed in a farm accident in 1973. Vel and daughter, Sue, moved to Estherville, where she resumed her nursing career as office nurse for Dr. Montgomery. From 1982, until his death in 2001, she was married to Paul Stuart of Spirit Lake and they lived in Spirit Lake and St. Petersburg, Fla. In 2004, she married a childhood sweetheart, Robert Simon of Dolliver, and they lived in Monarch Cove in Spirit Lake, until their move to Keelson Harbor.
Vel is survived by her husband, Robert; her brother, Ronald Olson, of Spirit Lake; and her four children: Greg of St. Petersburg, Fa., Donna Olney Passmore of Sugar Land, Texas, Ron of Eden Prairie, Minn. and Sue Olney Beck of St. Petersburg, Fla. She is also survived by five stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
She felt her life was blessed with great love, loud laughter and deep meaning. Her mantra of "No Hill for a Stepper", her warm hugs, her sage advice and her beautiful smile touched many and will be sorely missed. What a ride, Vel. Thank you.
The Schuchert Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.