Eldon Jay Simons passed away on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at the age of 82, in Seguin, TX after six months of illness during which he often expressed his discontent with being a “feeble old man”. Eldon was born on January 23, 1937 in Ireton, Iowa.
Eldon is preceded in death by his parents Irvin and Inez (Lehman) Simons; brother, Irvin, Jr.; brother and sister in law Carl Lyle and Marvel Simons; sister and brother in law Mima Blanche and Keith Newman; sister, Beverly Cox; ex-wife Dorothy (Foster) Simons, and second love Patsy Mantz.
He is survived by his daughter and son in law Becky and Merlin McGuire of Seguin, TX; son, George Simons of Nichols, IA; last love Kathy Rohan of Sayers, TX; brother in law Ben Cox; grandchildren, Brandie Elliott, Tonya (Don) Lick, Torey (Codie) Rohde all of Muscatine, IA and Cody (Megan) Simons of Austin, MN; 11 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Eldon was the youngest of five children and a true “Iowa Farm Boy” who carried those values with him everywhere he went. He never met a stranger and always found something to talk about, particularly his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes. Upon graduation from Sheldon High School in 1956, he and his friend set out to hitchhike to the East coast and back, visiting relatives and getting into a few interesting situations along the way. Fortunately there is a written account for posterity! This trip ignited Eldon’s love of travel and learning.
After short stints in the Army and farming at home, he went to work for T.E. Ibberson Company building concrete grain elevators all over the Midwest. Along the way he accumulated many humorous stories of pranks, characters and bad ideas. During one of his job assignments, Eldon met and married his first love, Dorothy. In the late 60’s they settled in Thompson, IA to raise their family, where he was successful in many enterprises including his blacksmith/welding shop; designing and building some of the first hydraulic round bale carriers; building sturdy and efficient hog trailers; building Butler bins; and being there for all the sporting events and 4-H & FFA projects and horse shows that needed to be attended.
In the early 90’s, Eldon went back to work for T.E. Ibberson and settled in the Bay Area of Northern California with his second love Patsy. He was always eager to show a California girl what the rest of the country looked like from the seat of a vehicle. She really enjoyed the Iowa summer thunderstorms! With the death of Patsy in 2005, he came to visit his daughter in Seguin and never left. It was here he met his last love and favorite dance partner, Kathy Rohan, who was by his side until the very end. Once again, he became the ultimate tour guide for a willing travel partner.
Eldon’s later work with Ibberson Co. allowed him to venture out of the country to Trinidad, China, Vietnam and Canada - where he was the master of building concrete slip forms, trying local cuisine, communicating with his local work crews and gathering more stories. His final enterprise was collecting, cleaning and selling old cast iron and tools – only American made! He worked almost every weekday up until February and spent his weekends gathering new inventory for his Antique Mall booths.
Eldon was a lifelong student who diligently educated himself about the places he went and everything he encountered. He loved life and especially enjoyed gathering with his extended family and friends. As the youngest sibling, he was very close to his nephews - the Newman boys - and was honored to attend as many family events as he could. His stories, laughter and conversation will be missed by all who knew him.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday August 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Seguin Silver Center, at the conclusion of the memorial service there will be a fellowship potluck.
Interment will take place on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon, IA. There will be a short graveside service followed by a fellowship lunch at the Sheldon Community Center.
Iowa Hawkeye attire is encouraged.