Shelley Arlene Simmons went to be with her Lord Jesus on February 28, 2013 at her home on the Stateline Ranch. She spent her final days being loved and cared for by her family and friends.
Shelley was born September 23, 1969, to Ralph and Bertha Johnson, completing the family of five girls. They lived on the family ranch east of Pine Ridge, where they raised cattle and hogs.
She attended school in Batesland through the fourth grade, then finished her remaining school years in Gordon after they purchased what became known as the “Shell Lake Place” and moved there. She played volleyball for the Lady Broncs and worked at Stockmens Drug throughout high school graduating with the class of ’87.
From an early age she loved animals, and many stray dogs and cats benefited from her loving care as well as an assortment of ducks, geese, chickens and goats. She also cared for dozens of orphan calves over the years with all of them being named. One calf broke a leg during delivery and Shelley insisted that she would take care of it and after the vet amputated the front leg she nursed it back to health. The calf became known as “Hop a Long Cassidy”, and would come when Shelley called his name. After briefly studying to be a Vet Tech, Shelley came back to the Ranch and the life she loved.
On February 22, 1995, she married Bruce Simmons and the couple lived on his ranch north of Eli. While living there they had two boys, Preston, born June 18, 1996 and Peyton born June 3, 1998.
In January of 2002 they moved to the Stateline Ranch north of Gordon to help run the ranch that her dad Ralph and Uncle Stan had purchased in 1988.
Shelley and Bruce both came to the Lord shortly after their marriage and started to attend church, later joining the Victory Hill Assembly of God at Clinton, NE. Shelley gave her time to volunteer with Hospice and at the Gordon Countyside Care Nursing Home.
Shelley’s strong faith gave her a boldness to share God’s word with others and to lead many to the Lord. Her faith also sustained her after being diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2010. Her family knew her stubborn independent side which she directed toward her fight against the disease, never giving up hope for a new body, which she now has in heaven.
Shelley is survived by her husband Bruce and sons Preston and Peyton of Gordon, mother Bertha of Rapid City, SD, sisters Merry and husband Dan Maguire of Rapid City, Debra of Sheridan, WY, Ronda of North Platte, Loretta and husband Mick Groskopf of Scottsbluff, Uncle Stan Johnson of North Platte, Aunt and Uncle Berdella and Glen Hicks of Martin, SD, Uncle Wendell and Aunt Linda Leeper of Valentine, NE, and Aunt Doris Fischer of Lewellen, NE, Bruce’s family-Bob and Nancy Simmons of Eli, NE, Joyce Simmons of Valentine, Donna and Michael Keenan of Valentine, many cousins, nephews and nieces and a host of friends.
Funeral Services were held Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the Victory Hill Assembly of God Chruch, ½ mile south of Clinton, NE, on 270th Lane. Burial will be held in the Gordon Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bob Simmons, Mick Groskopf, Dan Maguire, Michael Keenan, Rod Sahr and Curtis Schwarting.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Shelley Simmons Memorial Scholarship, for a Gordon-Rushville Graduating Senior who plans to study agriculture, veterinarian tech or the ministry and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.