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Major Genevieve Simunovich Obituary

Major Genevieve Marie Simunovich
Major Genevieve Marie Simunovich

February 18, 1923 - September 12, 2017
Born in Watsonvllle, CA
Resided in Salinas, California
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Genevieve was born in Watsonville CA on Feb. 18, 1923, the eldest daughter of John and Jennie Simunovich. Her father was Catholic, so she attended first and second grades at Moreland Notre Dame Catholic School and St. Patrick’s Church. The family moved often due to her father’s work, and they lived in Boulder Creek for a time, on the Branson Ranch which has been in the family for over 110 years. Her father John Simunovich was sponsored by his cousin Jasper to come to the US in his late teens from Yugoslavia, and he was an accomplished mandolin player and in a string band. They belonged to the Slavic American Club.
When Genevieve was 11 she was invited by her classmates to a girls’ club at The Salvation Army Church to join the Girl Guards, since she hadn’t been attending a church at the time. She continued to attend The Salvation Army Church. After graduating from Watsonville High School in 1941, when the family lived in Corralitos, she went to The Salvation Army Officer Training School and went into the ministry, serving in Homes and Hospitals for Unwed Mothers. She served in WA, CO, OR, ID and CA, and retired in 1985 as a Major. She settled in Salinas after retirement to be near her family, and to be close enough to attend high school reunions. She joined the Pajaro Valley Historical Association Program and Slavic American Cultural Organization and attended their barbeques and events to learn more about her father’s background and history.
Genevieve was predeceased by her parents John and Jennie (Branson) Simunovich, her half brother George Strouble, her brother John “Jim” Simunovich, and her sisters Helen Isaac, Anna Rakes and Caroline Barnes.
She is survived by her dear brother, Donald Simunovich of San Jose. She was a loving aunt to Gary (Susie) Rakes, Shirley (Chris) Alger, Carol (Jimmie) Wolfe, Cindy (Sylvin) Emerson, Ellen Byng, Karen (David) Ostby, Pat Novelli, Steven Novelli, Bryan (Andrea) Simunovich, Donna Wolfe, Don (Cynthia) Simunovich, Jon Simunovich and their families. She is also survived by many cousins in the Branson and Steinbruner families, and numerous lifelong friends made throughout the years.
Genevieve will always be remembered for her selflessness, her kindness and sweet smile, and her devotion to God and the ministry. She was often a caregiver and nurturer to many family members and friends, and she taught Sunday School and Corps Cadets, also she delivered sermons regularly. She taught adults to read in a library program, and tended to the sick and dying with deep devotion. She was the family matriarch and historian, with a large collection of photos and memorabilia, and was a wealth of information about her parents' history, which she was always willing to share with family members.
Visitation will be held 12:00p.m. to 4:00p.m Friday, September 15, 2017 at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA. 93901.
Funeral Services to be held 10:00a.m. Saturday, September 16, 2017 at The Salvation Army of Salinas, 2460 N. Main Street, Salinas, CA. 93906. with burial to follow at the family plot at Pajaro Valley Memorial Park, 127 Hecker Pass Road, Watsonville, CA. 95077
Donations may be made in Genevieve’s name to The Salvation Army Church in Salinas, 2460 N. Main Street, Salinas, CA. 93906.




Struve and Laporte Funeral Home
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901
Friday, September 15, 2017
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Funeral Service
Salvation Army of Salinas
Corner of Russell and North Main
Salinas, CA US 93906
Saturday, September 16, 2017
10:00 AM
Pajaro Valley Memorial Park
127 Hecker Pass Road
Watsonvlle, California 95077
Saturday, September 16, 2017


Salvation Army
2460 North Main St
Salinas, CA US 93906