Wendell Simons

November 1928
October 2022


In the early morning hours of October 11, 2022, Wendell Wayne Simons passed away at the age of 93. Wendell was born in November 1928 in Independence, MO to Mabel Granville Loren and William Francis Simons. At the age of 15, Wendell moved to California to live with his older sister, Louise Simons Wetterman, after the death of their mother. Wendell married Judith Rae Shaw in 1953 in Oakland, CA. They welcomed son Gary in 1954 and daughter Teresa in 1955. Wendell attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned a bachelor's degree in Art, graduating in 1949. He served in the US Navy from 1950 to 1952. He then earned a second bachelor’s degree in library science in 1953. He later earned a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1980. Wendell was an artist at heart, but earned his living as a university librarian at UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and Judson Baptist College. He drew cartoons in his spare time, publishing many political and religious cartoons, as well as illustrating several books. He joined Judy in her pottery business, building her a beautiful studio and making many unique pottery and stained glass pieces as well. In 2016 Wendell self-published his autobiography. 1972 was a special year for Wendell and his family as they worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Papua New Guinea. Wendell cataloged the research library at the missionary center in Ukarumpa, while Judy taught in the high school. Wendell was always active in a local church wherever he lived. He held various lay leadership positions, taught adult Sunday School, and sang in the choir. He also helped to organize the library in every church he attended.

Friends & Family

Wendell is survived by his wife of 69 years, Judith Simons; son Gary (Linda) Simons and daughter Teresa Smith; grandchildren Andrew (Laura) Simons, Rachel Simons, David Simons, Wendi (Fernando) Abba, and Kara (Jason) Sparks; and great-grandchildren Isabella Simons, Micah and Emma Simons, Ezekiel and Oz Olson, and Liam and Zoe Abba.

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