Wally Simonson
1962 - 2021
Wally Simonson

1962 - 2021

On May 4, 2021, Walter (Wally) Simonson, 59, passed away in Palm Springs following a sudden stroke. Wally's bright ray of love, light, and laughter remains with all who knew him. His was a life dedicated to what truly mattered: family, friends, nature, dogs, celebrations, good books, and making the world a better and more sustainable place. Wally lived his life to the fullest and shared his immense love for life and joy with others.

Wally was born in Mt. Clemens, MI to Marvin and Mary Simonson and attended Utica High School in Utica, MI and college at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and University of San Francisco. He moved to the Bay Area in 1985, where he worked for Dow Jones in San Francisco before creating his own company in San Mateo County.

He met his life partner and husband, Jerry Gomez, in 1989 and they lived most of their 32 years together in Pacifica. Wally loved the Coastside, the beautiful Pacific Ocean just blocks from home, the rolling hills, and the informal, friendly lifestyle of its residents. He was active in protecting this special place and involved in many environmental efforts to protect it. Wally helped found the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center whose mission is to preserve and protect the Coastside's natural habitats for endangered species. He also served on the Board of the Coastside Habitat Coalition. Wally regularly served as lead chef for the many banquets and events that raised money for these and other institutions dedicated to protecting and preserving our beautiful coast. He was also active in the Devil's Slide Tunnel campaign that brought about a more environmentally-friendly solution to rerouting Highway 1 through Montara Mountain. From that successful campaign, County voters overwhelmingly approved the Tunnel on Highway 1.

Wally was active in his business and loved working with residents throughout San Mateo County. He enjoyed his visits and time off in the desert, where he also called home, and his many friends in the Palm Springs area. He was always positive and appreciated the lighter side of life. He was keenly sensitive to the needs of others and was a fierce advocate for fairness and equality. He cherished celebrations particularly where good food, good wine, and costumes were involved. He loved to cook for others with a bend towards his French-Canadian roots and lived the adage that the happiest of times are those spent in the planning of celebration.

Wally is survived by his husband, brothers Steve, Paul, Bill, Bobby (Cupples), and sister Margaret and their loving families and his many friends in the Bay Area and Palm Springs.

Memorial services will be announced soon and his life celebrated at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center: https://sgerc.org/index.html

Published by The Desert Sun from May 26 to May 30, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Sponsored by thedesertsun.com.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

9 Entries
Sending you our deepest sympathies. We hope memories of joyful times together comfort you as you celebrate a life well lived. Wally will be missed.
Arturo Rojas and Jason Ellisen
June 5, 2021
Wally was a incredible man. He will always be remembered for his wonderful outlook on life.
May 29, 2021
My sympathy and prayers to you, Jerry, for your loss with the sudden passing of Wally. May the many memories of your life together comfort you.
May 29, 2021
Wow. It sounds like he never changed. The same old Wally I remember! Loving, caring, and kind. I am so very sorry and I am praying for each and everyone of you. I will forever cherish the memories of our teenage years.
Kim zaremba
May 28, 2021
You your loving personality and great food will be missed.

Eleanor Johnson Cohen / friend
Eleanor Cohen
May 27, 2021
Thank you Wally and Jerry for reminding us what truly matters in life; family, friends, nature, celebrations, and respect for our environment.
I will savor the memories.
Esmirna Valencia
May 27, 2021
Wally, there is a lot of good things to say about him, he was a great person with a wonderful heart, always thinking on how to help and be good to everybody, trying so hard to keep everybody happy. We still cant' believed that he left us so soon, we missed him a lot and our hearts are heavy with his departure.
Jerry, wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Eric & Jessica Ramazzini
May 27, 2021
I was fortunate to spend time with Wally on my visits to the West Coast and his visits to the East Coast. Wally was always warm, friendly and gracious. He will be sorely missed.
Alan Harris
May 27, 2021
Wally was one of a kind and the picture says it all about his joy of life. Jerry, our hearts go out to you and all of Wally's friends and relatives. You have wonderful memories to share. With love and deepest sympathy, Norma & Michael
Norma Graves & Michael Davidson
May 27, 2021
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 results