Edward “Ed” Joe Simek, 99 and long-time resident of Baptist Health & Rehab, passed peacefully away early afternoon on Thursday January 11, 2024.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00AM, Tuesday, January 16 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.
Visitation will be held from 5:00PM to 7:00PM, Monday, January 15 at Parkway Funeral Service.
Ed was born April 9th, 1924, in Chicago to his proud Bohemian immigrant parents, Bessie (Bucha) and Stanley Simek. He was the third of four children born to their family.
When Ed was two years old, his father Stanley bought farmland (sight unseen) near Kelsey, MN and moved his wife and three children there. Ed distinctly recalled living in a tiny trailer while a well was dug and the 450 sq ft home was built. Clearing brush with his older brother Frank was another vivid memory of his early years. Ed completed his schooling in Kelsey. Following his eighth-grade graduation, he worked on the family farm.
In January 1945, the army drafted him. He served as a Technical Sergeant, primarily working in South Korea as a radio operator. Following an honorable discharge in 1947, Ed, with the help of the GI Bill, attended the National Radio School in Minneapolis, MN, earning his first-class radio operator’s license.
Prior to his Army service, Ed and a friend had gone to the 1944 Fourth of July County Fair in Floodwood, MN. He was immediately captivated by a vivacious 18-year-old young lady that he met. Perhaps being stuck together at the top of the Ferris Wheel helped. Family lore has it that he went home that very night and announced that he’d met the girl he was going to marry.
On July 3rd, 1948 (exactly four years after meeting her) Ed married Miss Genevieve Smekta of Floodwood, MN. A reception was held at her parent’s farmhouse and they honeymooned on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Following their marriage, Ed and Gen made their first home in Devils Lake, ND for nine years. Ed worked for KDLR radio, starting wage at $0.80/hour. During these years, they welcomed two children, Susan and Mark.
In September 1957, Ed moved his family to Bismarck for a better job opportunity with the Meyer Broadcasting Company. Their third child, Gary, was welcomed on Father’s Day in June 1959. He continued to work for MBC until his retirement in 1987.
Being a farm boy, Ed always loved gardening. Each summer his large garden would produce abundant amounts of vegetables. In addition, he loved growing many varieties of flowers. It gave him much pleasure to arrange and deliver homegrown bouquets to his friends and family.
As an adult, Ed learned to play bridge. He had a real passion and knack for the game. Playing bridge with friends or at the Senior Center was a weekly highlight for him.
Following the loss of his beloved Genevieve in 1996, Ed began volunteering with the Meals on Wheels Program. Starting at one day a week, he slowly increased to delivering three or four days per week. He gave 24 years of dedicated service to the program and was recognized with a special award.
Ed lived the last 8 ½ years of his life at the Baptist Home. He was fiercely independent and outspoken. He made many friends and was well known around the facility. He truly enjoyed his life to the fullest degree possible.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Bessie Simek; brothers, Frank and John Simek; sister, Agnes (Simek) Nemec; wife, Genevieve Simek and son, Mark Simek.
He is survived by his daughter, Susan (Richard) Jensen; son, Gary (Marie) Simek; grandchildren, Christopher (Lexie) Jensen, Sara (Lyndon) Jahner, Josh (Danielle) Simek, Amanda Simek, and great-grandchildren, Maddox Jensen, Violet Jahner, Hazel Jahner, Rielly Simek, Oliver Jensen and Brody Simek and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Baptist Health & Rehab for the many years of great care provided to Ed.
Memorials may be given to Baptist Health & Rehab, Bismarck Veterans Library, Meals on Wheels, Burleigh County Senior Center and The Banquet.