Linda M. Simonton, age 56, of Watertown, South Dakota passed away Sunday, August 22, 2021 at her residence in Watertown.
Linda Simonton was born in Breckenridge, MN on December 27, 1964, to Richard and Betty Rikimoto and died August 22, 2021. She grew up in Wheaton as the youngest of 8 children. She graduated from Wheaton High School and moved to Watertown, SD to become a Dental Hygienist. Linda decided that, in order to provide a better life for her and her daughter Natasha, that she would need to take a different path. She didn’t want to stay in a small town, and she wanted to see the world, so she joined the United States Army. After completing basic training and AIT, Linda was stationed in Germany. Linda returned home and moved to Texas with her daughter. While stationed in Texas, Linda was deployed to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in support of Operation Dessert Shield/ Dessert Storm for one year. After completing her tour in Saudi Arabia, Linda came home. Linda and Natasha then moved to Georgia, then back to Texas, then back to Germany again. They lived in Germany for 3 years. Linda loved everything about Germany. Linda and Natasha then moved back state side and lived in Alabama. Her daughter ended up graduating and remaining in Alabama while Linda went on to live in Florida, New Jersey, South Dakota, Canada, North Dakota, Mississippi, both Dakota’s again, Rhode Island, and finally back to South Dakota.
Linda was known throughout her family and friends as a firecracker! She would light the room when she walked in and brought smiles to many faces. Linda’s father nicknamed her “Little Red Hen”, stating that she “Squawked all the time”. Linda loved music, rummy, coloring, cooking, reading, cats, kids, traveling, trying new foods, fun, and she was a good listener. Linda would spend hours in the kitchen just making things up as she went. The food always turned out great! However, she could never remember how she made them, so every meal Linda made was a first for her, and everyone that got to eat it. She referred to her cooking methods as “mooking”. Linda was a huge Packers fan and she hardly ever missed a game on tv. She loved her nephew Brady and always lovingly called him “her boy”. She also loved to play with her grandson Gabe, who she loved and affectionately called “Angel Face”. Linda was close to her brothers and sisters from day one. She loved every one of them deeply and loved to share stories of growing up with them. Through it all, Linda loved her daughter Natasha like no other. She often liked to think it was her and Natasha versus the world and that they were best of friends. They told each other everything and had a lot of great times together. They had so much in common and Linda unwittingly passed on her method of cooking known as “Mooking”, as well as many other things to include reading and rummy.
Linda served her country honorably for 6 years in the United States Army. Her awards include but are not limited to; the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Ribbon, Army Lapel Button; and the Aircraft Crewman Badge.
Linda is survived by her Daughter Natasha Morgan of Hattiesburg, MS; 1 grandson: Gabriel Morgan of Hattiesburg, MS; 4 brothers: Edward Rikimoto of Wheaton, MN; Boyd Rikimoto of Watertown, SD; Joseph Rikimoto of Annandale, MN; and Richard Rikimoto of Watertown, SD; 2 sisters: Rebecca Johnson of Jackson, MN; Susan Knight of Clear Lake, SD; 2 godchildren: Sam Knight of Clear Lake, SD; and Jake Horwath of Colorado Springs, CO. She is preceded in death by brother Donald Rikimoto 4/5/2009; parents Richard and Betty Rikimoto.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Bethlehem Covenant Church in Wheaton with Pastor Tim Shekleton officiating. Military Rites will be provided by the Merton Dale American Legion Post #80 outside the church following the service.
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