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Walter Ray Simonson 1926 - 2015
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Walter Ray Simonson 1926 - 2015

MARSHALL, MO. — Walter Ray Simonson, 88, died Feb. 24, 2015, in Marshall, Mo., after an illness of several months.
Ray was born Dec. 21, 1926, on his grandparents’ farm in Anthony, the middle of three sons of Dale and Jeanette Simonson. He grew up in Great Bend where his father was in business.
He served in the Naval Air Force at the end of World War II, then attended the University of Kansas, where he met Charlotte Boyle of Kansas City, Mo. They married in 1949 and had three children, John, Peter and Ann. They divorced in 1973.
Ray worked in sales much of his life, first for his father’s chain of auto parts stores in western Kansas, later for the Standard Oil Company in western Missouri, and then in residential real estate for the J.C. Nichols Company in Kansas City. He ran a series of small businesses in Kansas and Texas before retiring to the Lake of the Ozarks.
Besides his family, Ray loved country music, lonely highways, raw oysters, a well-mixed Manhattan cocktail, and his two dogs, Buddy and Holly.
In 1976 he married Jean Kerr of Kansas City. She died in 1999. He married Betty Sue O’Dell of Marshall in 2002. She survives. Other survivors include brother Ralph, sons John and Peter, grandsons Mac and Will Simonson, stepsons Scott and Gus Granneman and Rusty Kerr, and stepdaughter Debbie Kerr Everett. Family preceding him in death include his parents; a brother, Don; and daughter Ann.
After cremation, a memorial service will take place  at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Marshall. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. The family suggests memorial donations to the Saline Animal League, PO Box 743, Marshall, Mo. 65340. Friends may sign the online register book at

Funeral arrangements provided by
Campell-Lewis Funeral Home**
226 S. Odell
Marshall, MO 65340
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sunday, April 5, 2015