Russelle Grant Simonsen, 84, daughter of Paul Silas and Mildred Longworth Grant, was born Dec. 17, 1920, at Cabool. She died April 24, 2005, due to complications from cancer.As a child, she was known to the community as “”Baby Sister.”” She graduated from Cabool High School in 1938 and attended Christian College in Columbia. She graduated from State Teacher’s College in Springfield in 1941 and earned a master’s degree in music education in 1942, majoring in vocal music at Columbia University in New York.She taught vocal music in elementary and high schools in Venita, Okla., Bayshore, N.Y.; South Orange, N.J.; and Cabool.She married Walter J. Simonsen of Great Neck, N.Y., July 10, 1946. They had three children.Mrs. Simonsen directed choirs in Islip, N.Y., Venita, Okla., and Cabool. She sang professionally throughout the country and taught music for more than 65 years, starting at age 18. In later years, she taught voice classes to hundreds of aspiring singers. She was featured on the McNeil-Lehrer Hour on PBS for her unique role in promoting music in the community.She was the first lady mayor of Cabool, running unopposed and holding office for two terms from 1978 to 1982. She was the Republican committeewoman for Burdine Township for many years and was a delegate from Missouri in 1984 to the Republican National Convention.She was preceded in death by her parents, husband; and daughter, Jeanne Williams.Surviving are her sons, Dr. John Simonsen of Corvallis, Ore., and Dr. Michael Simonsen of Mission Viejo, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.Services are 10:30 today (Thursday) at the United Methodist Church in Cabool. Burial will be in the Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cabool Alumni Association Russelle Simonsen Music Scholarship or Joe L. Spears Scholarship c/o the funeral home at P.O. Box 708, Cabool, Mo. 65689. Services under the direction of Evans Funeral Home are 11 o’clock Friday morning at the Bucyrus Baptist Church for Irene Craven of Bucyrus. Burial will be in the Union Cemetery.Mrs. Craven, 81, died Tuesday at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston.Visitation is 7 to 8 o’clock tonight (Thursday) at the Evans chapel. Memorials may be made to Gideons International or Bucyrus Baptist Church. “

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply