Edward Shaver Simons, Jr. peacefully passed away at Memory Care at the Lodges in Lacey on February 16, 2022. He was 83.
Ed was born on May 11, 1938, in Camden on Gauley, West Virginia. The oldest of eleven, Edward grew up hunting and fishing with his brothers and running moonshine with his dad in the West Virginia mountainside. A tow-headed son, he was the apple of his mom and dad's eye.
At the age of 17, Edward drove across the U.S. with his dad and uncle, with several gallon jugs of moonshine and barely enough money to buy gas, pop, and food along the way. The trip ended in Mossyrock, Washington, where Ed's dad found work and then sent for the rest of the family.
In Mossyrock, Edward met the love of his life, Audrey Morris. This spitfire redhead immediately caught his eye, and they were inseparable. Edward started school in Mossyrock but soon realized there was no room in the house for him, so he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. On his first leave, he returned to Mossyrock, where he and Audrey married in December 1956. He earned his GED and proudly served his country for four years in Hawaii. During this time, he traveled the Pacific. Once his enlistment ended, he and Audrey returned to Mossyrock, where Ed worked as a logger. During this time, he and Audrey had two children.
When Ed was 27, he read a news ad about the GI Bill and decided to go to college. He graduated from Lower Columbia College, then Western Washington University, earning his teaching certificate. Throughout his career, he taught and coached in Sedro Woolley, Fife, Dietrich, Gooding, and Onalaska. He ran a strict football program designed to bring out the best in the young men he coached. One of his proudest moments was when Onalaska won the 1986 Football State Championship. Ed believed in the value of education and went on to earn his Master's degree and his administration credentials. His career in education spanned 43 years, and he served students and the community as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent. Always needing to be busy, he and Audrey also operated a cattle farm in Onalaska for nearly two decades, a small farm in Gooding, Idaho, where he had horses and grew alfalfa. He also operated a gyppo logging company in Onalaska. His work ethics were incomparable.
Edward is preceded in death by his wife, Audrey, of 62 years, his brothers John, Jim, Dave, Gary, and sisters Patty and Alice. He is survived by his son, Edward III (Karen) Simons of North Pole, Alaska, his daughter, Karen (Eric) Rains of Onalaska, grandchildren, Kimberly (Tanner) Curtiss of North Pole, Alaska, James (Kacie) Simons of North Pole, Alaska, Sara Reed of Onalaska, Rebecca (Alex) Alston of Dumfries, Virginia, Alec (Brittnee) Rains of Chehalis, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and siblings Aloma, George, Roy, and Robert.
The family would like to thank the staff at Memory Care at the Lodges in Lacey for their excellent care of Ed. Ed wished to be cremated and his ashes placed in a joint urn with Audrey. The family will hold a burial ceremony and memorial for Ed and Audrey on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Doss Cemetery. A celebration of life will immediately follow at the Rains' home, 159 Shanklin Road, Onalaska. Arrangements are under the direction of Cattermole Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ed's memory to The Onalaska Scholarship Fund, PO Box 279, Onalaska, WA 98570.