Genelle V. Simoni
May 30, 1918-March 1, 2014
Brown's Valley, California
Beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother Genelle V. Simoni (formerly Genelle Kelley) passed away at age 95 at the Marysville Care and Rehab Center on Saturday, March 1, 2014. She was a long-time resident of Palo Alto and San Jose before moving to the Brown’s Valley, Calif., home of her daughter Rosemary “Bunny” Kelley in 2005.
Genelle was born in New Richland, Minn. on May 30, 1918 to Christian Virnig and Rose Arendt Virnig, the third of four children including brothers Richard, Mark and James. She attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota, where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.
In 1942 she married fellow student Ensign Robert Emmett Kelley and moved to the naval base in Bremerton, Wash. at the onset of WWII. They soon transferred to San Francisco where she worked at a Naval Hospital as a phlebotomist. In 1955 the couple moved to Palo Alto to accommodate a growing family of six children: Robert, Maureen, Daniel, Mark, Douglas and Rosemary. After the passing of her husband in 1967, Genelle became president of R. E. Kelley and Company, which later merged with Alexander and Alexander Insurance of San Francisco. She married Leo A. Simoni in 1971 and moved to the foothills overlooking San Jose.
Active in the community, Genelle was an early leader of the Community Association for the Retarded (now Abilities United) and a supporter of the Allied Arts Guild, the American Heart Association, Goodwill and TheatreWorks, where she never missed a performance. She was an accomplished pianist and a passionate bridge player with many groups throughout the South Bay. In later life she enjoyed working as a sales representative and advisor to young mothers at Kiddie World Baby Furniture. The supportive matriarch of an ever-growing family, Genelle was predeceased by her son Daniel in 2008. She is survived by her children Robert, Mark, Doug and Bunny Kelley, and Maureen Seeley; her daughters-in-law Evelyn Shiro, Ann Butterworth and Linda Elvin; her grandchildren Todd Seeley, Sarah Woodland, and Ethan, Adrienne, Brett and Kyla Kelley; and her great grandchildren Elizabeth and Laurelynn Seeley and Greer and Cecily Woodland. She counted her niece Nan Ryan and her husband Tom among her closest friends.
A woman of strength, humor and integrity, Genelle was beloved by all.