Obituary of Edith "Dollie" Neafus Simer

Dec. 30, 1986
Anacortes, Washington

On January 8, 1887 a daughter was born to William and Cornelia Neafus (pronounced Neh-fuhs). They were pioneer settlers who in 1864 crossed the prairies from St. Joseph, Missouri to make their home in Southwestern Montana.

Edith was known to family and friends as 'Kid' or 'Dollie.' Second youngest of nine children, she grew up knowing a loving family with good Christian values. Her parents taught her faith and courage which she kept with her all the days of her life. She always had a 'Never Quit' attitude.

Just nine days short of her hundredth birthday, she passed away leaving her family the legacy of her faith and courage as well as a rich history which will be treasured by those who knew and loved her.

She saw the birth of a new age and passed through the doorway from primitive pioneer ways into industrialization and technology. As a young woman of twenty she travelled through Idaho to Utah in a stagecoach drawn by a team of six horses to join her new husband, Fred Simer, to begin a new life. He was 4 years older than she, tall, dark and handsome, born in Indian Territory somewhere near Oklahoma 1883. He was a miner and a carpenter - never without a job even during the Great Depression.

"Dollie" worked in the camps as a cook and housekeeper but always managed to keep a comfortable home for her husband and herself. From Angels Camp, California to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho they travelled and worked. Twenty years later they were finally blessed with a baby. Fred, their only child was the joy of her life. She provided her family every comfort though they lived simply.

She was expert at improvising. She fashioned new clothes out of old, always had flower and vegetable garden and made beautiful household items by hand. She was generous to all and made gifts with her own hands until just a year ago.

The passing of her years saw through all forms of travel, "new fangled" inventions like electricity, telephones, televisions, computers, jets and men on the moon since her first trip on stagecoach.

"Dollie" was known in her later years as "Gramma." She was often introduced to folks as "Gramma Simer." She was everyone's gramma. The older family members, not too many years younger than she, even called her "Gramma." She loved her flowers and her pets and never let a day go by without doing chores and watching "wrasseling" as she called it, every Friday night on T.V.

She is survived by her son Fred, his wife Barbara, a cat named Prince Charles, 2 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and a multitude of "grandchildren" she has at one time or another helped raise and love as if they were her own.

Another Obituary

Edith Bradley Simer, 99, of Anacortes, died Dec. 30, 1986 at Anacortes Convalescent Center

She was born on a ranch near Townsend, Montana, Jan 8, 1887, the daughter of pioneers William and Cornelia Neafus. She lived in the Bitterroot Valley there until 1909, when she was married to Fred Simer at Ogden, Utah. The couple lived in many areas of the western United States, settling in Salmon, Idaho to raise their son born to them after 20 years of marriage. They moved to Medford, Oregon in 1946 then moved to Portland, Oregon where Fred died in 1957. Edith moved to Anacortes in 1978 to be near her family.

Just nine days short of her 100th birthday, she passed away leaving her family with the legacy of her faith, courage and a rich history which will be treasured by those who knew and loved her.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Barbara Simer of Anacortes; a grandson and his wife and children, Jerry, Bonnie, Shannon and Chad Simer of Holland Michigan; a granddaughter, Sharon Simer of Seattle; a nephew Carlis Neafus of Fresno, California; and two nieces, Amy Rockefellow of Montana and Abbey Dye of California.

She was preceded in death by her parents and eight brothers and sisters. A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Jan. 2 at Anacortes First Baptist Church with the Rev. John Myers officiating. Her remains will be interred next to her husband at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.

Memorials are suggested in her name to Community Homewell, 1911 E. Division, Mount Vernon 98273; to Paramedics, 1022 12th Steret Anacortes; or to Heartline-Lifeline care of Linda Harker, Island Hospital, 24th and N. Anacortes.

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