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2222 Russell Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Phone: 307-634-1568
About An Amazing Life|Help

John P.

May 5, 1925 – October 4, 2018

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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home

Obituary for John P. Simons

John Powell Simons, 93, died October 4 in Cheyenne after a long illness.
He was born May 5, 1925, in Los Angeles, the last of four sons to Morris P. and Rosalyn I. Simons.

In their younger years the lives of the four boys were engrossed in the sea and sailing. Later, after the death of their father in the early thirties, they spent summers in Aspen where their mother had a silver mine and where they spent weeks camping and packing with horses in the mountains.

He was a 1943 graduate of University High School and was named to the All-City football team in his senior year. He remembered sadly the work of his service club in helping the families of Japanese American classmates pack their belongings before being sent to internment camps in the interior of the country.

Upon graduation he joined the Navy V-12, a program to train commissioned officers for duty in World War II. He attended UCLA for two years where he trained and played on the varsity football team. In 1945 he was assigned to sea duty aboard the USS Sarita (AKA-39), an attack cargo ship which carried troops and cargo throughout the Pacific Theater and was ferrying troops for the landing on Japan when the war ended.

He was discharged from the Navy in August 1946, and, because of the flood of veterans entering higher education, found it nearly impossible to find a college. Finally, the football coach at the University of Nevada offered a spot on the team, and he enrolled there at the Mackay School of Mines.

He graduated in1949 with a degree in mining engineering. After his first job at the underground mine in Ruth, Nevada, he resolved never to work underground again. He spent the rest of his life as an exploration field geologist throughout the western United States and Mexico.

He came to Wyoming in 1953 to supervise a crew of geologists in the land division of the Union Pacific Railroad. They spent summers in Wyoming and winters in California and Nevada exploring the UP land grant for mineral commodities of all kinds. He was deeply involved in the expansion of the trona deposits in the Green River Basin and in uranium exploration in the Front Range.

He would say that his proudest achievement came during his one-year position in Mexico with the United Nations Technical Assistance Board. He was one of a group of international geologists carrying out exploration and inventory with the Mexican counterpart of the USGS. He and a young geochemist discovered and carried out early development of what became La Caredad, now the largest copper-molybdenum mine in Mexico.

In 1957 he married Lynn Osborn in Salt Lake City. They had two children: Clayton Osborn and William Blair. They lived variously in Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Evanston, Las Vegas, Casper, and Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Douglas, Arizona, and Mexico City.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Robert, Eugene, and William; and son Clay.

Survivors include his wife, son Bill, granddaughter Madeline Rose, nephews Steve and Jeffrey Simons, nieces Julianne Simons and Janet Ancona, and a host of wonderful colleagues and friends.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, October 13, at 11:00 am at Highlands United Presbyterian Church. The family asks that in lieu of flowers friends contribute to the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens or a charity of one’s choice.

To send flowers to the family of John P. Simons, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Service Information

Saturday, October 13th, 2018 11:00am
The Reverend Rodger McDaniel
Highland Presbyterain Church
2390 Pattison Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82009