Published: 1:34 pm, Tue. May. 29th, 2018Updated: 1:33 pm
Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, June 1, at First Baptist Church for longtime Artesia resident John Simons Jr.
Simons, 95, passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018, at Brookdale Country Club assisted living home in Roswell.
Rev. Ty Houghtaling and Rev. Mark Simons will officiate the services, with interment to follow at Woodbine Cemetery with full military honors. Pallbearers will be his six grandsons.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday at Terpening & Son Mortuary.
John was born Aug. 9, 1922, in Magdalena. He moved to Artesia in 1924 with his parents, John T. and Ella (Sprague) Simons and graduated from Artesia High School in 1941. He had two younger brothers, David T. Simons and Donald S. Simons.
On April 21, 1943, he married his high-school sweetheart, LuJuana Monschke, at First Baptist Church in Artesia while on leave from the U.S. Army.
He shipped out for England on May 8, 1944, and was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division as a rifleman. John was wounded in action Sept. 14, 1944, near Brest, France, but rejoined his unit after recuperating in England to continue the attack across Germany until war’s end.
He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and honorably discharged from the Army as a staff sergeant in October 1945. He was very proud of the book he wrote in 2011, titled “WWII My Story.”
In February 1949, John began a career as an agent for New York Life Insurance Company in Artesia, with LuJuana serving as his secretary. He received many honors in his industry until his retirement following a career spanning nearly 50 years.
John also served as a deacon at First Baptist Church, president of the Artesia Rotary Club, and commander of the American Legion, and was involved in many other civic and charitable organizations. He was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding volunteer service to the organization. He was also named Artesia’s Citizen of the Year by the Artesia Chamber of Commerce and a Living Treasure by the Artesia Historical Museum.
Survivors include children Janet Ellwood and husband Bill of Gilbert, Ariz., Ken Simons and wife Delma of Artesia, Mark Simons and wife Kathy of Burkburnett, Texas, and Emily Moore McCaw and husband Bill of Artesia; grandchildren John Rowley, Robb Rowley, Jana Rowley, Ryan Rowley, Donald Simons, Christopher Simons, Summer Briscoe, Jessica Addington, Andrew Simons, Kendi Cox, Ashlee Matthews and Madison Moore; 20 great-grandchildren; and two stepchildren, Russell and Beverly Fleming.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers; wife LuJuana in 1994; and second wife Rita in 2016.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 629, Portales, N.M., 88130; or the Pregnancy Help Center of Artesia, 610 W. Quay Ave., Artesia, N.M., 88210.
Arrangements are under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed online at www.artesiafunerals.com.