Milford Simonds, age 70, passed away on Dec. 31, at his home and with family. “Milf,” was born and raised in the St. Paul, MN area and lived in several areas throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin in his lifetime.
Early in his life, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and bravely served his country during a tour in Vietnam as a combat photographer. During his military career, he earned various commendations and medals for his work in the field and as aircrew. Milf continued to be active in both the American Legion and the VFW organizations throughout the rest of his life and often served as a chaplain and bugler.
He attended college both in Canada and Kansas and went on to become on ordained Minister, serving ministries in Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and actively participating in the Association of Faith Churches and Ministers. During his time as a minister, he touched many lives through his work in the church and music ministries. Milford performed countless marriages, baptisms and funerals; served as a counselor for families and individuals and later he continued his ministries through outreach to nursing homes and detention centers.
He married Celesta A. Dunbar in 1966, with whom he had three daughters; Mary Ann (deceased), Lori and Pamela. Milf was widowed when Celesta went to meet the Lord in 1999 but later remarried in 2000 to Mary Yonan and enjoyed an extended family with her two sons Andrew and Jonathan.
Milford will be remembered for his love of humor and the way he connected to other people through it. He loved the sound of laughter and believed that many obstacles could be overcome with a joyful spirit and faith.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Mary Ann, his wife Celesta and his parents. He is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Lori Simonds and Pamela Simonds, stepsons Andrew (Barbara) Yonan and Jonathan Yonan, sisters Trudy, Elaine and Adrienne, brother Robert, granddaughters Sam and Sarah, two grandsons Cy and Nathan, many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, as well as many family and friends who became his extended family.
A funeral service was held Monday, January 5, 2015 at 11:00 am at Praise Fellowship Church (602 Central Ave. S.) Dodge Center, MN. Visitation was held Sunday, January 4, 2015 from 3:00-5:00 pm at Bakken-Young Beebe Chapel (112 W 3rd St) New Richmond, WI and visitation continued on Monday from 10-11 am at the church in Dodge Center. Interment was in the Riverside Cemetery in Dodge Center, MN. Memorials can be sent to the VFW National Home for Children (vfwnationalhome.org). Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services Beebe Chapel of New Richmond.