Cover photo for Russell Lee Simonsen's Obituary
Russell Lee Simonsen Profile Photo
1955 Russell 2024

Russell Lee Simonsen

August 18, 1955 — January 18, 2024

Yankton

Russell Lee Simonsen, age 68, of Yankton, South Dakota, died unexpectedly Thursday, January 18, 2024, at his home in Yankton.

A memorial service will be 2:00 PM on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton, South Dakota, with Reverend Dani Jo Bierwagen officiating.  Entombment will be at a later date in the new Columbarium at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton, South Dakota. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton, South Dakota.

Honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren.

Russ was born August 18, 1955, in Yankton County to Wilbert Simonsen and Vivian (Huber) Simonsen. He attended grade school at Whittier School in rural Yankton County. He graduated from Irene High School in 1973. In 1979, he started working for Alumax making his way up to maintenance supervisor in which he held this position until he left in 2007. He then went to work for Sargento, North Sioux City until taking a maintenance position at Ability Building Services in Yankton until his retirement in May of 2022. Russ and Lori spent the rest of his life enjoying time with their family.

Russ welcomed children Barry, Sara, and Charles. In 1984, Russ met Lori Ellis and her girls, Jennifer and Kristen. Russ and Lori joined their families through the unity in marriage in September of 1989. He enjoyed spending time with all of his family whether it was hunting, fishing, spending anytime outside that he could. Though he never missed an opportunity to spend time in the fishing boat. Russ lived his life to the fullest, living everyday as if there was no tomorrow.  His greatest joys in life were found with his family. 

Russ is survived  by his wife, Lori Simonsen of Yankton; five children: Barry (Danta) Simonsen, Jennifer (Ryan) Williams, Sara (Jason) Pasco, Charles (Bridget) Simonsen, and Kristen (Joseph) Lemons; 15 grandchildren: Taylor (Cody) Ratz, Jackson Pasco, Samantha Williams, Presley (Syd) Boots, Devon Simonsen, Jeremiah Braxton, Tecla (Grant) Kramer, Tamiah Barnett, Jayden (Keeva) Lemons, Trayden Lemons, Mason Simonsen, Ellison Williams, Kaylee Simonsen, Kinsley Williams, Veda Lemons; 3 great-grandchildren; two brothers: Donald (Lynette) Simonsen and Robert (Corliss) Simonsen; brother-in-law, David Rye; mother-in-law, Alice Ellis; sisters-in-law: Barbara Gust, Judi (Jeff) Day, Cathy Rayson, Amy (Robert) Graham and many nieces and nephews.

Russ was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Vivian; father-in-law, Eddie Ellis; sister, Sherry Rye; son-in-law, Jeffrey Braxton; brother-in-law, Charlie Gust and his four-legged family members: Brandie and Jack.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell Lee Simonsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Gathering of Friends and Family

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Wintz & Ray Funeral Home – Yankton

2901 Douglas Ave, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm

Wintz & Ray Funeral Home – Yankton

2901 Douglas Ave, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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