Winston J. (Sy) Simonsen
W.J. (SY) SIMONSEN
Winston J. (Sy) Simonsen, 84, of Fredericksburg, died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.
Funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church with the Reverends Casey Zesch, Travis Meier, Elliot Pancoast and Richard Wagner officiating.
Marjorie Ottmers was the organist; Bill Smallwood, trumpeter; Tyler Simonsen and Kathleen Rae, the vocalists and Brent Carr, guitarist.
Interment followed at Greenwood Cemetery.
Arrangements were under the direction of Fredericksburg Funeral Home where visitation was held Thursday evening, Nov. 7.
Simonsen was born Jan. 30, 1929, in Kimballton, Iowa, the son of Arthur Simonsen and Margaret Jersild Simonsen. His family moved to Texas when he was three years old.
After graduating from Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, he enrolled at the University of Texas, and while there, joined the United States Air Force.
He became a fighter pilot in the Korean War where his plane went down and he spent six months in a Chinese POW camp. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses for his service.
After being released from the POW camp, Simosen returned to Texas and married Nelda Harms on Oct. 24, 1953.
The Simonsens eventually settled in Houston, where he worked for Southern Pacific Railroad while earning his BBA from the University of Houston.
After graduating, he went to work for Brown and Root, working his way up to general bridge superintendent.
In 1965, he started Simonsen Construction Company.
During his years in highway and heavy construction, he worked on everything from portions of the Houston Ship Channel to a forge plant in Mexico.
In 1990, he closed Simonsen Construction and he and his wife semi-retired to Fredericksburg.
A lifelong Lutheran, Simonsen was active at Trinity Lutheran in Houston and then Bethany Lutheran, often leading Bible studies.
In addition to his wife, Simonsen is survived by four daughters, two sons and spouses, including Linda Simonsen Davis of Fredericksburg; Stephen and Jill Simonsen, Montgomery; Lesli and Brent Carr, Fort Worth; Sally and Al Retzloff, Argyle; Dr. Gregory Simonsen of Dallas, and Deanna and Case Fischer of Fredericksburg.
He is also survived by 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a brother and sister-in-law, Jay and Joan Simonsen of Rosharon.
Simonsen was preceded in death by his parents as well as a sister, Jean Ferguson.
Memorials may be made to Bethany Lutheran Church, Wounded Warriors at Nebo, or to the charity of choice.
Pallbearers included Edward Carr, Brent Carr Jr., Hunter Simonsen, Tyler Simonsen, Samuel Retzlof, Dietz Fischer, Simon Fischer and Conner Simonsen.