A funeral mass for Joe will be held at Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Claremore, Oklahoma on February 4th at 10:00 a.m. The Rite of Committal will follow at Saint Therese Cemetery in Collinsville, Oklahoma. Following the burial, a lunch will be provided by the Saint Cecilia’s women’s club for the family and friends of Joe at St. Cecilia Catholic Church.
Joseph Thomas Simones, 74, lost his long, courageous battle to Lewy Body Dementia in his home surrounded by his family on January 22, 2023.
Joe is survived by his wife of 53 years Katherine (Hannon) Simones, his five children Joseph Edwin Simones (Heidi) of Loveland, Ohio, Mary Anne Holdridge (Scott) of Kirkwood, Missouri, Thomas Simones (Selinda) of Brookshire, Texas, Christine Willard (Chad) of Claremore, Oklahoma, and Maureen Siddens (Aaron) of Santa Clarita, California; grandchildren Eli and Wyatt Simones, Katherine, Patrick, and Marisa Holdridge, Victor, Veronica, Aurelia, and Arabella Simones, Alivia Willard, and Archer and Conan Siddens. Joe is also survived by his sisters Lindy Navin (Mike), Kathleen Ruesler (Rick), and Julie Goebel (Grant), and his brothers Tim Simones, Tony Simones (Jeanne), and John Simones (Cathy), as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his uncle Paul Eiffes and aunt Katherine Simones (wife of his deceased uncle Leo Simones). Joe was preceded in death by his parents John and Kathleen (Eiffes) Simones, his sister-in-law Krista Simones (wife of Tim), grandparents Edwin and Ethel (Sullivan) Eiffes, and grandparents Victor and Rose (Whitby) Simones.
Joe was the first born to parents John and Kathleen (Eiffes) Simones on March 4, 1948 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Shortly after his birth, he and his parents settled in Dubuque, Iowa. Joe had such love for Dubuque, his childhood home where he was raised and lived until 1961. During his eighth-grade year, Joe and his family relocated to Saint Louis County in Missouri. Joe attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School where he was a football and track star and graduated in 1966. He then attended the University of Missouri-Columbia on a track and field scholarship. Joe loved his time at Mizzou and was always loyal to his Missouri Tigers. Joe graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Later in life Joe also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History from University of Missouri-St. Louis. Joe met Kathy, the love of his life, during his time at Mizzou. They were married in 1969 in Wein, Missouri. Following their marriage and Joe’s graduation, Joe and Kathy moved to Sedalia, Missouri where Joe was a history teacher and coached track and cross country at Smith Cotton High School. Joe enlisted in the United States Army towards the end of the Vietnam War era in 1974. Joe was stationed in Kaiserlautern, Germany where he lived with Kathy and their two oldest children, Joey and Mary Anne. During his time in Germany, Joe worked on Army planes at Ramstein Air Force Base. Germany is also the place where Joe developed his love and interest in beer history and exploring historical places. After Joe completed his three year tour, he returned with his family and settled in Florissant, Missouri. He began working for the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier in 1977 and was employed there until his retirement in 2012. During retirement Joe and Kathy loved to go to their grandchildren’s events and host family when they came to visit. Joe and Kathy relocated to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2022 and called Claremore home.
To know Joe meant that you knew certain things about him. You knew he loved his family and he was always happiest around his children and grandkids. You knew he valued a good work ethic and providing for his family. You knew he loved history and was always the smartest person in the room, but never made anyone feel like he was better than them. You knew that he had a special gift that made every person he was with feel like they were the most important person in the world at that moment. You knew that Joe was a man people trusted, loved, and felt safe with. You knew that he treated everyone like they mattered and they were worth something. You knew that when you were around him you were going to laugh. He could not go more than five minutes without saying one of his timely jokes that would have everyone in the room laughing. You knew when you saw him that you were going to hear a story that you had already heard, but his stories were so great you listened like it was the first time. You knew he loved his Alma Mater, the University of Missouri where he still holds track and field records, but most importantly where he met his beautiful wife Kathy. The most important thing you knew was that he loved God.
To the people who loved him, Joe was perfect. His children were his everything, his purpose. His legacy will continue to live on through them. Although Joe’s five children were all so different, he always knew what to say in order to reach them and give them the love and support they needed. Each of his children had their own special connection and relationship with him. Amongst his children there were always common words of wisdom that they will continue to hear even after his passing: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “Things are never as bad as they seem.” I am sure you will probably hear his children use those words of comfort with their own children. He loved hard, worried about his kids all the time, and fought all the way to the end. Quitting was never in Joe’s vocabulary. Joe earned that last sip he took on the evening of January 21st.
Joe’s family will receive friends at Payne Funeral Home in Claremore, Oklahoma from 1-7 p.m. on February 3rd and there will be a Rosary prayer service beginning at 7 p.m.
Donations can be made in Joe’s name to Lewy Body Dementia Association at https://www.lbda.org/.