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Ralene Ann Simonsen Nursing Endowment

Sometimes you just do things. That's why Gary Simonsen and his wife of 19 years, Linda, decided to fund an endowed scholarship at the BYU College of Nursing in honor of Gary's first wife, Ralene.

"Ralene fought with cancer and we felt that we needed to do something towards the medical side," Gary said. "I have a great love for BYU so naturally we thought of the BYU College of Nursing. We wanted to help young people as they glide into society."

Ralene was an effervescent individual who served people through church organizations, including the Relief Society, and gave of her time to help people in need.

"She served a lot of people in a lot of ways," Gary said. "I would hope that the individuals who receive this award would use their abilities to learn as a result of the scholarship to go forth and help others."

The desire to serve others isn't a quality unique to Ralene. Gary and Linda continue to bless the lives of others through humanitarian service. They were among the first couples to serve as Area Welfare Agents for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were assigned to oversee all welfare activities and programs in the South Pacific area which, including training at the individual, ward, branch, stake, district and mission levels. In an area subject to many natural disasters each year, the Simonsens often oversaw how to distribute humanitarian aid.

"It all ties together with helping people" Gary said. "That includes the humanitarian side; that's why we came up with the scholarship at the BYU College of Nursing."

The legacy of helping people has expanded to include the Simonsen's children. Gary has three daughters who work in the nursing field.

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