Kent L. Simonson, 81

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Kent L. Simonson, 81

Kent Lee Simonson, age 81, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Sunday, September 24, 2023, at his home. Kent was born November 17, 1941, in Austin, Minnesota, to Kenneth and Dorothy (Groby) Simonson. In 1959, he graduated from Austin High School and went on to attend Dunwoody College of Technology where he studied. Kent also took continuing education classes at the University of Minnesota. Following college, he began working as a mechanic, before beginning his 38-year career for Hormel as an engineer. Kent was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin and a past member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, where he taught adult Sunday School, was a small group leader and a Stephen minister, and served on many church committees. Every October and May the couple would travel to their condo in Sunnyside Beach, Florida, where they met up with their friends, John and Carole Lembrick. These trips were filled with many nights playing Hand and Foot as a group. He also belonged to the Cedar Valley Conservation Club. In his free time, Kent enjoyed working on cars and especially liked restoring classic cars. He made jewelry and was known for the beautiful cross necklaces he created. He also enjoyed doing carpentry, machining, pistol shooting, playing Bridge, and loved taking walks hand-in-hand with Georgiann. Kent always kissed Georgiann goodbye and told her he loved her before leaving the house; he was the best husband a woman could ask for. Above all, family was the most important thing to Kent, and he would immediately help his girls with anything they needed. He designed a deck for Michelle and Peter’s home and helped Peter build it; the pair worked well together on the many projects they did. Kent cherished all the time he spent with his grandson, Luke. Kent was one of the kindest and most loving men, genuinely cared about others, and was always willing to help anyone in need.

Survivors include his wife, Georgiann Simonson of Austin, Minnesota; daughter, Terri-Ann Simonson of Austin, Minnesota; son-in-law, Peter Gawienowski of Burnsville, Minnesota; grandson, Luke Gawienowski of Burnsville, Minnesota; sister, Karen (Charles) Stern of Wilmar, Minnesota; nieces and nephews, Jennifer (Robert) Thoreson, Susan (David) Chapin, and Chuck (Christy) Stern; six great-nieces; one great-nephew; and one great-great-niece. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Simonson; daughter, Michelle Lee Gawienowski; and granddaughter, Abigail Gawienowski.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Memorials are preferred to Mayo Clinic Hospice in Austin, Operation Blessing, Westminster Presbyterian Church, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Services are prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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