Edward Simons 76 died peacefully on May 3, 2022, in Hospice of Mercy, Durango, Colorado.
Ed was born August 17, 1945, to George Robert and Wilma Carr Simons in Oklahoma City. His young childhood was spent near Moore, Oklahoma, with older brothers Bob and Don. In 1952, the family moved to California. As a youth, Ed learned to garden with his grandfather and enjoyed camping with a Christian youth group. He graduated from El Monte H.S in 1963 and Citrus Community College in 1965.
Ed met Marilyn Johnston during a term at Biola College. The couple married in 1965. Ed coordinated first Earth Day activities at Stanislaus State College and earned his BS in biological sciences in 1968. Son Steve was born, and Ed began a career with California Fish and Game.
The family moved to San Francisco Bay Area in 1971 where Ed served as a game warden for 10 years in Napa, Martinez and Sacramento. Daughter Tami Lynne was born in 1973.
In the 1980s, Ed worked as water quality biologist and pollution enforcement in San Francisco Bay and hazardous materials branch chief in San Luis Obispo. By 1989, Ed began his company HAZMATCO in Carson City, Nevada, to provide hazmat training in hospitals and companies across the nation.
Ed began developing acreage in Durango, Colorado, in 1995, helping build a house and barn, while continuing HAZMATCO travel. He married Bonnie (Rasmussen) Bunting in 1998. Daughter Tami came to Durango the next year, bringing her family closer to Grandpa Eddy.
Ed came into the Catholic Church and faithfully participated in St. Columba parish. He found a calling toward struggling youth. His “retirement” career included substitute teaching for 9R, especially at Excel School, teaching PE at St. Columba School, mentoring through Community Connections, and serving with youth in his parish. He was special uncle to Rocky. In 2012, Ed and Bonnie became parental guardians of grandson Christian.
Ed also enjoyed his career with the Durango Silverton RR, in reservations and as a brakeman. He then served as a narrator, telling the history of the railroad through historical character Otto Mears.
Music was close to Ed’s heart. He joined Barbershop choruses wherever he moved. He sang baritone with the Durango Barbershop Chorus and Durango A ‘Capella Quartet. Church choirs at St. Columba fulfilled his music ministry.
Ed wanted to be outdoors, in the mountains, on the water, on his land. He loved fishing while paddling his double kayak, camping, hiking, gardening and working. His favorite travels took him to Europe, Australia, Alaska, and on numerous road trips around the country.
For 25 years, Ed and Bonnie continued working the 25 acres – raising organic gardens, sheep and turkeys, pasture hay – and building a retirement home. In October 2018, planned life was interrupted by metastatic melanoma. Ed kept valiantly living his dreams and values with cancer, only with great community support, music, laughter, and faith. He passed into the next life in peace.
Ed’s extended family includes wife Bonnie Simons, son Steve Simons, daughter Tami Simons, grandsons Sean (Juan) Simons, Jeremiah Sadler, Ian (Heather) Simons, and Christian Simons, great-grandsons, brothers Robert (Ethel) Simons and Don (Bonnie) Simons, nieces and nephews, and in-laws and out-laws.
Preceding him in death were parents George and Wilma Simons, former wife Marilyn Johnston (of Huntington’s Disease), and niece Laurie Simons.
A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 10:00am, at St. Columba Catholic Church, 1800 E 2nd Ave. Durango CO. Reception to follow in the gym will include time for sharing words and music.
Memorial donation suggestions include Catholic Relief Services, St. Columba School, The Nature Conservancy.