Nature 19

Harriet Lorraine (Hensel) Simonson

January 1, 1939 ~ June 9, 2021 (age 82)

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The Lord requested our sunshine’s hand to Heaven’s dance floor on June 9, 2021. Born on a snowy New Year’s Day in 1939 to Mae (Tibbetts) and Edwin Hensel on a Palisade river farm. Times could be tough for this hardworking beautiful redhead girl including walking two miles uphill each way to school! Harriet graduated from Aitkin High School in 1957. She met Harlan Simonson at a dance, fell in love and married him on June 27, 1959.  She worked in Aitkin at the Extension Office and the DNR Fisheries Office. Harriet was a “social butterfly.” She loved being a part of social events and rarely missed any. Her passions were bowling in her early years, gardening/canning, dancing, playing cards (especially 500), decorating for the holidays and  being a meticulous cleaner (a trait her daughters didn’t inherit). Along with raising six children, Harriet gave her time and energy to many organizations. She was active in and served as President of Aitkin American Legion Auxiliary #86, UCC Church, Glen Township Treasurer, DFL, Red Cross, AARP Tax Volunteer, Help coordinate Class of 1957 Reunions, and frequent visitor with nursing home residents. Harriet enjoyed being a part of the Palisade Red Hats, Sunbeam card club, UCC Priscilla Club and Cedarbrook Homemakers. Harriet brought sentimentality to a new level: cherishing and displaying every gift and newspaper article proudly.  She took time to keep in contact with family and friends with phone calls, cards and annual Christmas letter.  

Harriet is survived by Harlan, her loving husband of 62 years. Children: Kim Pittsley, Edward Kehn
(Cheryl), Anne Kellerman (Terry), Madeline Aderman (Jeff), James Simonson (Kat), Christine Simonson (Todd); grandchildren: Shay Anakkala (Matt), Levi Kehn (Amy), Courtney Kellerman Wells (David), Brittany Kellerman (Ricardo); great grandchildren: Annika and Addison Kehn, Payton and Jayde Anakkala, Winter and Wilder Wells, Luca Bennett. Siblings:  Sidney Hensel (Janice), Shirley Kehn Johnson, Douglas Hensel, Rodney Hensel, Paulette Torgerson (Ed), Steven Hensel (Donna); sisters-in- law, Phyllis Hensel and MaryAnn Zortman, brother- in- laws, Richard Laird and Paul Simonson (Karen) and many special nieces, nephews and friends.


Preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law, Paul Pittsley; siblings: Lucille Hoge, Leroy Hensel (Bev), Elizabeth Catlin (Chester), Joyce Laird, Ken Hensel, sister-in-laws, Mary, Lydia, Bonnie, Helen; brother-in-laws, Alan, Lloyd, David, Lee, Alvin, Teddy.


Memorial Service Sat, Sept 25th, 1-2 at Heart of MN Ministries (formerly UCC Church by the DQ) Immediately following will be an Open House Celebration of Life at the Aitkin American Legion from 2:30-5:30.  Memorials to Riverwood Hospital Foundation in Aitkin.  Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home of Aitkin.


“We remember now in Love, Your life from start to end, And we’re just glad we knew you, As Mother, and as Friend.                                                 






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