Rev. Edward W. Simonsen Obituary

Reverend Edward W. Simonsen, 91, of New Albany, OH passed away on November 21, 2023. He was born in Buffalo, NY on October 4, 1932, son of the late Edward and Alice(Bauld) Simonsen. Edward was a loving and faithful husband to his wife of 63 years, Sandra (Hirst) Simonsen. He will be greatly missed by his two daughters, Kristen and Hope; sons-in-law, Steve and John; three grandchildren Aubrey, Ryan and Will as well as a niece, a nephew and many cousins.


Upon graduation from South Park High School, Edward served in the Air National Guard and attended Buffalo State Teachers College. Edward then taught 5th and 6th grade for Lewiston-Porter and Kenmore Public Schools.


Over the years, active involvement in church, encouragement from pastors and a willingness to commit to God’s call led Edward to pursue and receive a Bachelors of Ministry degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University. He was ordained in 1965 and served Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Brunswick, Maine); Bethel Lutheran Church (Palatine, Illinois); Hope Lutheran Church (Miami, Florida); Community Lutheran Church (Sterling, Virginia); St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Columbia, Maryland) and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Funkstown, Maryland) for the next 32 years.


During the 1970’s, Reverend Simonsen was instrumental in the formation of the Lutheran Via de Cristo Retreat Movement (originally derived from the Catholic Cursillo). He was the first Spiritual Director of the National Lutheran Via de Cristo Secretariat. He continued to support and stay involved with this ministry through serving over 100 weekends and attending yearly National Secretariat meetings.


Edward enjoyed retirement and the opportunity it gave him to spend time with family and friends. He was his grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader. He also enjoyed taking trips, reading, sharing books, attending the Chautauqua Summer Institute and going to basketball games and theater productions. Edward is remembered for his innate ability and gift to connect meaningfully with others, his friendly and gentle heart, his thankfulness in all things and his selfless devotion to God and his family.


Family and friends may call 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, December 17th at Peace Lutheran Church, 455 Clark State Rd. Gahanna, OH 43230. The memorial service will be held immediately following visitation. Please join the family for light refreshments in Peace’s reception hall after the service.


The family wishes to thank the staff at Westerwood Rehabilitation Center and Caretenders Hospice for their genuine, heart-felt attention to Edward’s comfort and dignity while maintaining constant support to his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Hospice Promise Foundation.