Ronald R. Simonis obit photo


La Grande

Ronald “Ron” Ray Simonis, 71, of La Grande, died Aug. 31, 2021, at Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of his life will be held Sept. 11 at noon at the family residence, 63312 Watson St., La Grande.

Also known as Ron, he was born May 18, 1950, in La Grande, to Henry Simonis and Ruby (Bailey) Simonis. He attended school in La Grande and graduated from high school in 1969. He served in the U.S. National Guard for 10 years. On Nov. 27, 1974, he married Cyndi Hickey.

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Ron was a self-employed entrepreneur and inventor. He was successful in starting and running several different businesses in Eastern Oregon and one business traveled nationwide. In 2005, his catering company was deployed to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. While in New Orleans, Ron’s company fed 10,000 people per day, feeding the Army, contractors, FEMA and other organizations helping with restoring the city. He was recognized by the U.S. Army for his work during the Katrina disaster efforts.

Ron was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting with his family and woodcutting with anyone willing to go with him. He loved to take his family on four-wheeler rides — the longer the better. In 2009, Ron and Cyndi purchased a cabin in Granite. He loved spending as much time as he could there, and even served as the mayor of Granite for four years.

Ron also enjoyed traveling and spending time with his wife and family. For many years he coached Little League, optimist football and soccer and volunteered in Boy Scouts. He had a gift for connecting with kids and could always inspire them to reach their best potential in whatever sport he was coaching. It was not uncommon to hear other coaches talk about how hard his teams were to beat.

Ron was a proud and dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His faith in God was firm and the guiding light of his life.

Ron was always kind, loving, willing to help, slow to judge. All were welcome at his house. He was always good for a story and a full belly and always shared his warm heart.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Cyndi; children and their spouses, Kevin and Emilee Simonis of La Grande, Heidi and Kyle Caldwell of Elgin, Elijah and Malena Simonis of La Grande, and Jacob and View Simonis of Thailand; mother, Ruby Simonis of La Grande; sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Robert Grissom of La Grande; brother, Rick Simonis of La Grande; and 13 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, Henry James Simonis.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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