Margaret (Margo) Norlen Simons
Please join us in celebrating her life Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 3:00 PM at Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1120 N Cloverdale Road, Boise, ID. Private Inurnment will be at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
Margaret Christine Norlen was born in Riverside, California and passed away on March 7, 2020. She was 90 years young. Her parents were Florence and Lawrence Norlen. Her brother Richard (Dick) re-named her Margo when he was two years old because he couldn’t pronounce the name Margaret. The family moved to San Bernardino, California, where she attended schools from kindergarten to high school graduation. Family, friends, church, books, sports, and French horn playing were her special interests. Then, at San Bernardino Valley Junior College she met the light of her life, Clay Simons, Jr. While attending Valley College, Clay was elected President of the student body, and Margo was elected Treasurer. In her sophomore year she was Homecoming Princess.
After they both graduated from Valley College, Margo moved to Eagle Rock to attend Occidental College. She graduated with a BA in elementary education and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Clay moved to Los Angeles to work and attend Southwestern University School of Law. He graduated and passed the California bar exam. Before they graduated, Margo and Clay were married and began many years as loving partners in marriage, parenthood, business, and even in tennis and bridge-playing.
The family moved to Boise in 1959. Margo enjoyed taking care of her three children as well as the home and later taught second grade at Whitney School. She left teaching to travel extensively with Clay on business and pleasure trips. She never failed to send her children postcards from the places visited and would apologize for the bumpy writing while sitting in a fast-moving car. Later, she worked with Clay at the business they started in 1966, Sioux Veneer Panel Co., as a financial coordinator. They both valued their employees as friends and co-workers. Clay sold their business in 1990, and they both retired.
After Clay passed in 2005, Margo missed him very much but kept busy in an active life. Her three children, seven grandchildren and all their companions spent a lot of time with her. Then, she was blessed with four great-grandsons and two great grand-daughters who all called her “GG.” Many other relatives brought her much joy. Friends and neighbors were regarded as treasures. She enjoyed books, going to church, keeping up on local politics, and especially enjoyed attending concerts by The Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, and productions by the Idaho Shakespeare Theater as well as Boise Little Theater.
The teachings of the Bible and Christian Science were very important in Margo’s daily life. She was a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boise and The Mother Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Margo belonged to Alpha Delta Kappa, Beta chapter (an international honorary altruistic organization of women educators), and Retired Educators Association of Idaho. She loved giving books as gifts to loved ones and to organizations. She especially loved the Book Drives when she could give hardcover picture books, sometimes with a new pair of pajamas, hoping a book might inspire the young recipient’s life in some tiny way.
Margo was one of the greatest examples of kindness, compassion, and unconditional love. She often reached out to newcomers in church and other activities, remembering what it felt like to be the “new” one. She wanted others to feel comfortable, and was able to forget about any discomfort she might have. An eternal optimist, Margo usually wore a smile, and naturally saw the goodness in others. The world is a better place having known Margo, and her loving spirit is still here with us.
Her family includes:
Son Clay III (Bud) Simons, daughter Sue Wilson and Kurt, and daughter Pam Rose.
Amy and Eric Gustafson, Pete and Shiloah Wilson, Mark and Lea Wilson, Rachael and Dale Bennett, David Rose, Sarah and Bonnar Bray, Glow and Aaron Duncan
Grant Gustafson, Hailey Gustafson, Wren Wilson, Jace Wilson, Finley Wilson, Banks Wilson
Nieces and nephews:
Dave and Tracy Norlen, Paul Norlen, Doug Norlen, Karin and Tom Huls and family, Nancy and Mike Collins and family, and Charles Brandon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Church of Christ, Scientist, 880 W State St, Boise 83702 or to the youth services department of your neighborhood public library.
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