Alma Ruth Simon was born July 18, 1922 to Katherine and George Zeiler in Billings. Her early years were spent farming along the Yellowstone river with her large family, and she retained fond memories of those years, recounting a simple, rewarding life that kept food on the table and spirits up throughout the depression.
She met the love of her life, Art Simon, in Billings, and began a courtship prior to America entering WWII. When Art was shipped to Marfa AFB (Texas) for training prior to deployment to the European Theater of War, Ruth traveled to Texas, where they were wed in the town of Alpine. Living conditions were “primitive”, at best, for the young married couple, but more fond memories were generated there. When Art was shipped out, Ruth returned to Billings in a Model A Ford, in the middle of winter, with another woman and their two babies, showing her true grit and ability to cope with whatever came up. Art was in Europe for the duration of the war, and though severely wounded while driving ambulance, came home whole and ready to truly make a life with Ruth.
A few years later, that traveling baby (Steve) who made the winter journey with his Mom, was joined by Rande, and the two boys made sure Ruth never lacked for challenges. She was a wonderful Mother, and raised her boys to be independent, strong, and self-sufficient, just like herself.
As time passed, and the boys went off to their lives, Ruth remained supportive and a strong role model, keeping books for the family welding business, playing an active role in the “Friendly Circle” at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, and doing her best to make sure her grandsons never lacked for love and plenty of treats and toys.
When Art passed away in 1986, Ruth continued her independent ways, and traveled extensively throughout the United States and (finally) got to see her German homeland.
Ruth is survived by son Rande and wife Dawn Duane of Kalispell, and daughter-in law Cecil Simon of Laurel; grandsons, Jeremy of Dickenson, ND, and Kody and wife Mieke Simon of Cannon Falls, MN; and one sister, Irene, of Billings.