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Leroy Simonson

Leroy Simonson Leroy Simonson

Leroy Allen Simonson, 74, died Nov. 5, 2023, in Malta.

He was born on Aug. 18, 1949, in Havre to Roger and Kathleen “Ree” (Murdock) Simonson. He was their firstborn son, delivered by Ree’s sister and nurse, Marjorie (Murdock) Olsen. From that day on, Leroy and his gunt Marjorie had a special relationship. He graduated from Whitewater High School in 1967.

After high school, he joined the National Guard while attending Northern Montana College in Havre, where he met Gale Waters. They were married on July 2, 1971, in Froid at the Congregational Church. After the wedding, they moved to the Simonson Ranch, where he worked alongside his father, Roger. Son Matt was born in 1972, followed by twin boys, Chad and Jerry in 1974. In 1975, the family moved to the Dwayne Compton place, north of Loring, where they established the U2 Ranch. In 1978, the couple welcomed a second set of twins, Krystal and Shon.

He spent a lifetime farming and ranching, taking the good years with the bad. He was also an experienced pilot. He obtained his pilot’s license while in college and purchased his first airplane in cash, with money earned from selling coyote pelts. He flew his Super Cub airplane on the farm and ranch regularly, checking cows, water, crops and grass.

In his earlier years, when he wasn’t farming and ranching, he also enjoyed team roping. The family spent many weekends at ropings in Whitewater, Turner, Loring, Saco, Malta and in Canada.

In 2012, they bought a home in Maricopa, Ariz., and started spending the winters in Arizona. In Arizona, he enjoyed golfing and visiting the dirt mall to find a good deal but, most of all, spending time with family and visiting the many friends, new and old, who also wintered there.

For the last 30 years or more, Leroy was a member of the Malta Men’s Club, “Bucket”. The group meets once a month for dinner, and he always looked forward to the opportunity to visit with friends.

Family was always a priority for him. The family spent many weekends at the Simonson family cabin at Nelson Reservoir. There were also trips to Fort Peck Lake to spend time with the Waters family, trips to the Heartland Ranch to hunt and ski trips in the winter to Big Mountain.

He is survived by his wife, Gale; children, Matt, Chad, Jerry, Krystal and Shon; 12 grandchildren; his mother, Ree; and siblings, Lynn, Danny and JoAnn.

Services were held Monday, Nov. 13, at the Malta Lutheran Church with burial at the cemetery.

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