Newburyport, MA – Pauline L. Simonds, age 87, of Newburyport, MA, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 19th, 2022, at the Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln, MA, with her family by her side. Pauline was born on December 22nd, 1934, in a little town in Pennsylvania called Brush Valley, PA. Pauline was one of five children of the late Andrew and Janet Smith. Pauline spent her early years enjoying the quiet life around the family farm, where she would reluctantly wake up early in the morning to tend to one of the farm animals that the family owned. While living in Kittanning, PA, Pauline met her first husband, Russell Reefer. They had four children together, two sons and two daughters, Russell Jr, Tracy, Cynthia and Michelle. Mr. Reefer passed away in 1982. Pauline and her family lived in Kittanning for many years where she was known for her incredible baking skills. She was affectionately known as “The Bread Lady” because her bread recipe was so good that she sold it to the towns people for income along with many other baked goods. Although, later in life, Pauline battled Dementia, she often loved to reflect on her time growing up in Pennsylvania.
Cleaning was not just an occupation for Pauline, it was a way of life! She enjoyed cleaning houses for people as a side job, and later in life was known for constantly cleaning her own apartment anytime anything was out of place. Pauline spent many years working for hotels in Pennsylvania as a restaurant hostess. In fact, she was so exceptional at her job that the hotel she worked at transferred her up to a hotel hundreds of miles away in Concord, NH called “The Highway Hotel”. This Pennsylvania farm girl was moving to the capital city of NH! Pauline worked here for many years. At various times, she worked with both of her daughters here. Eventually this is where she would meet her second husband, MSG. Orville Simonds, who also worked for the hotel following his many years in the U.S Army. The two would go on to be married until Mr. Simonds’ death in 1994 of Mesothelioma.
Pauline was a long-time resident of Newburyport where she lived in the James Steam Mill building for almost twenty years following a brief stint in Florida. She was loved by so many of the other residents in the building and often enjoyed just sitting and chatting with “the girls on the second floor”. If there was one materialistic object that could be associated with Pauline, it would absolutely be a tea pot! She loved to collect tea pots and would decorate her apartment with them wherever she could find an empty spot. Her collection began when her son Russell Reefer Jr. or “Rusty” as he was more commonly known, would send her flower arrangements inside of a tea pot of various sizes. He began doing this for any holiday and it became their own special mother-son tradition. Every one of these tea pots were her prized possession, and in traditional Pauline style, she often enjoyed taking them down, dusting, and meticulously cleaning each one.
Pauline is predeceased by her parents, her two brothers Andrew and Roger smith, her two sisters Jean Risinger and Doris Smith, and her oldest son Russell Reefer Jr., who passed away in 2014 of Prostate Cancer. She leaves behind her three surviving children, Cynthia Carp and her husband Andrew of Sparta, TN; Tracy Reefer and his wife Pamela of Gotha, FL; and Michelle Skafidas and her husband Arthur of Amesbury, MA. She is also survived by her eleven grandchildren: Justin Carp, Craig Carp, Tiffany Cuevas, Kristin Davis, Kristin Reefer, Allison Reefer, Ashley Reefer, Lauren Reefer, Tyler Reefer, Theodore Skafidas and Kathrine Skafidas; as well as many nieces, nephews, and great grandchildren.
Per Pauline’s wishes there will be no calling hours or funeral arrangements.