Mary Lou Simonelli

PORTLAND — Mrs. Mary Louise Simonelli, 105, died Oct. 22, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Mary Louise was born Feb. 14, 1915, in Portland. Her parents were Harold and Louise (Emmons) Smith. She graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle in 1933. Mary Lou was the granddaughter of one of the original founders of Ocean Park, Washington.

Mary Lou is survived by her sons, Kim (and wife Judy) Simonelli and Noel (and partner Donna) Simonelli. She is also survived by her cousin, Margaret Lusk Framm of California, two nieces, one nephew, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her loving husband Romeo (Si) Simonelli; her brother Amedee Mellier Smith Sr. (and wife Audrey); and her sister Virginia Smith Keeler.

She and Romeo (Si) Simonelli was married in 1941 in Raleigh, North Carolina while Si was furthering his education and training with the Navy.

She was a proud mother and Navy wife. Taking her role as a mother seriously she surrounded her children with love and family while her husband was deployed in both WWII and the Korean War. When they were stationed in Hawaii, she took her role as an officer’s wife seriously, and was known for hosting many dinner parties, welcoming all and making many memories along the way.

After retiring from the Navy, Si worked for Boeing and they settled in Bellevue, Washington. After her husband retired from Boeing, they became snowbirds wintering in Arizona and summering in Ocean Park. While living in Arizona she became an art docent at a local museum and was an avid hiker. She enjoyed history, whether it was her own family genealogy or American History.

When her husband passed away, she moved to Willamette View Retirement Community in Portland where she would often be found taking classes that inspired her or volunteering in their library. She often would say that the day she died is the day she would stop learning, inspiring many family members to follow their dreams and passions. She enjoyed visiting her home in Ocean Park and traveling which allowed her to take many cruises with friends. Two cruises she spoke fondest of was a historical cruise up the Mississippi River and the other one was to see the glaciers in Alaska. She enjoyed clam digging, long walks on the beach, reading, and enjoying family time.

A private burial and celebration for Mary Lou’s life will be scheduled at a later date at the cemetery in Ocean Park, Washington. Additional stories and condolences may be shared at

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