Lona Lee (Montgomery) Simensen, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Valley View Home in Glasgow, Montana where she has resided since 2017.
Born April 11, 1934 to Oliver and Viola (Johnson) Montgomery in Wolf Point, Montana, Lona also grew up in Wolf Point where she met and married a handsome young man, the love of her life, Kastor Simensen on April 29, 1950. Together they raised six children: four boys and two girls: Dean, Tom, Mona, Kenn, Marlyce, and Kris.
While at Wolf Point High School, Lona was a cheerleader, a twirler, and drum majorette. She loved the basketball and football games as well as anything involving music.
In her early adult years, Lona was a devoted full-time wife, mother, and homemaker, often singing as she worked. She loved all kinds of music, especially the old gospel hymns, country music, and later on the Gaithers gospel music. She also took time for church activities including choir, lady’s aide activities, even serving as president for a term. When the kids were older, she helped Kastor with his plumbing and heating business by working at the shop, taking phone calls, cleaning, and catching up on her ironing.
She loved to cook and bake and became very good at it. Her family, as well as many friends and neighbors were the beneficiaries, and will always remember her delicious meals and baked goods— especially her homemade buns and cinnamon rolls. She collected cook books, and actually read them, always looking for new recipes to try. She learned and perfected many Norwegian recipes such as meatballs, rice pudding and baked goods.
Lona’s culinary skills, along with her love of people, (possibly her most shining attribute), all came together in 1976 when she and Kastor bought and operated Hamill’s Drive-in in Wolf Point —where she realized her dream of having a “part-time job.” In 1978, the old drive-in was torn down and, in its place, they built Burger Kitchen, a beautiful new restaurant which became a more-than-full-time job for more than 12 years until it was sold.
After selling the Burger Kitchen, they moved to the Park Grove area on the Dredge Cuts of Fort Peck Lake. She and Kastor both loved the outdoors, boating, and traveling the world, including several trips to visit Kastor’s relatives in Norway. They also made time to attend graduations, weddings, and other special events involving their 14 grandchildren. For 12 years, they spent winters in Queen Valley, Arizona, where they met several delightful couples and enjoyed many good times together— golfing, hiking, sightseeing, shows, or just enjoying a meal together.
Lona was preceded in death by her parents, Oliver and Viola Montgomery; Kastor’s parents Torbjorn (Tom) and Andrea Simensen; one sister and her husband, Jeannie and Hans Pohl; brother-in-law James Burt; all of Kastor’s siblings and their wives: Susie and Johannes Osterhus, Gerald and Ruth Simensen, Donald and Dorothy Simensen, and son-in-law Terry Fast.
She is survived by her husband Kastor Simensen of Fort Peck, Montana; sister, Helen Burt of Billings, Montana; her six children: Dean (Lu) Simensen of Minot, North Dakota, Tom (Cathy) Simensen of Kalispell, Montana, Mona Fast of Fort Peck, Montana, Kenn (Lynette) Simensen of Minot, North Dakota, Marlyce (Bill) Braaten of Fort Peck, Montana, and Kristopher (Leslie) Simensen of Glasgow, Montana; plus 14 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
We are sad and mourning her loss, but also rejoicing over the many promises in the Bible, God’s love letter to us, that Lona is now healed and whole in heaven—with her new body—singing and dancing and praising her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ for his awesome love and sacrifice, and being reunited with loved ones already there.
A special thank you goes to some “earthly angels” Martha, Joanne, Kim, and all the staff at Valley View Home for your loving care of Mom during her last difficult days and hours on earth.
A memorial service celebrating Lona’s life will be held on Saturday, October 26 at 2PM at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow, Montana.
All are welcome to attend, but if you cannot, cards may be sent to the family at PO Box 125, Fort Peck, Montana 59223.
Memorials in Lona’s name may be given to Valley View Home Foundation, 1225 Perry Lane, Glasgow, Montana 59230