I grew up in Anoka, and graduated from Fridley High School in 1986. I attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1990 from the Mortuary Science Department. On January 21, 2011, I had the privilege of purchasing the Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home from a large corporation that operated the funeral home for over 13 years. I look forward to bringing Halvorson Johnson Funeral Home back to a locally owned and family operated funeral home.
I grew up in rural Holdingford, Minnesota. I graduated from Holdingford High School in 1994. After graduation I joined the Minnesota National guard, and was enlisted for 8 years. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science in 2001. I joined Halvorson-Johnson in November, 2010. My daughter, Molly & I live in Brainerd.
Jay D. Simon was born in 1938 in Minneapolis, MN. He is the second child of Dr. William J. Simon, DDS & Lela Belle (Tarter) Simon. He went to grade school in Minneapolis. In 1953 the family moved to Iowa City, IA. He graduated from University High School in 1956. Upon graduation he returned to Minnesota and entered the School of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1958. He then went to Hamline University for two years majoring in biology. One had to be 21 years old in order to become licensed. In 1960 he began his apprenticeship at Albinson-Peterson Funeral Home in Minneapolis. September 10, 1960, Jay married Carol Ann Ellefsen. In 1961, Jay received his funeral directors license and moved to Brainerd that fall.
On October 15, 1961 he began his life long career at Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home working for Donald W. Johnson and Bernice Halvorson. Don eventually bought out Bernice's share of the business. Years later, under extraneous circumstances, the corporation was sold to another employee. There was no option offered to form a partnership, so Jay removed himself from any dealings with the firm and the new owner who eventually moved out of the area.
Jay and Carol raised three daughters in Brainerd, Diane, Ruth and Victoria. After college they all married and have families of their own. Jay and Carol have seven grandchildren.
Spring of 2011, Jay will receive recognition for 50 years of service to the funeral profession.
He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and served as Chairman of the Congregation. He served as co-chair with Ralph Collette for the major expansion on the south side of the church.
He was a member of the Brainerd Lions Club, served as President and was a recipient of the Melby Sight Conservation Award. The lion water fountain by the Chamber of Commerce building was one of his accomplishments. He had 15 years of perfect attendance.
He was a member of the Brainerd Noon Rotary Club, and while President, received the Best In District award and twice received the best in district Newsletter award. He had 13 years of perfect attendance. He and his wife were hosts for many of the Rotary foreign exchange students.
Other civic accomplishments, Jay served for over ten years and was Chairman on the Brainerd Planning Commission.
On a personal note, he and his wife have self contracted and built two houses in the Brainerd area. They are currently residing in the second house located on Round Lake, north of Brainerd.
Genealogy has been a special interest since 1978. His family roots go back to at least 1614 in Germany and early 1800's in Chechoslovakia. Jay has produced several books for the various families in the clan.
His life long interest in model railroading and building layouts has been a great hobby. He is a member of the Missabe Railroad Historical Society, and the Northern Minnesota Historical Railroad Association, currently serving as secretary. The group operates extensive model railroad layouts in their building in Crosslake, MN.
Jay has enjoyed living and serving in the Brainerd community and looks forward to continuing service and involvement with Halvorson-Johnson's new owner, Tim Taylor.