David Lee Simpson was born May 14, 1919, in Edwardsville, Illinois, to Jesse Leander Simpson and Eleanor Marie (Kriege) Simpson. He had one older sister Virginia (Simpson) Burroughs who preceded him in death. He attended Columbus Elementary School and graduated from Edwardsville High School in 1937. While in High School he excelled in basketball, track and tennis. He was later inducted into the EHS Sports Hall of Fame for his long standing (over 25 years) broad jump record (which his coach claimed was a result of a strong tail wind). He also enjoyed being the lead in many plays and musicals.
Upon graduation he attended Illinois Wesleyan University from which he obtained a degree in Social Work. He then enlisted in the army and served in WWII in Reconnaissance and Intelligence of which he said there was some reconnaissance and very little intelligence. He received a Bronze Star for directing troops to a vital bridge crossing.
Shortly before leaving the service he married Elizabeth Marie Stelzriede in Lebanon, Illinois, on July 11, 1945. He passed the Illinois Bar exam while living in Springfield, Illinois, and returned to Edwardsville to practice law. Dave and Elizabeth were married for 54 years and had two children Fredrick Lee Simpson and Patricia Marie (Simpson) Kent. He has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren thus contributing to the control of population growth.
Dave knew how to balance living. He worked as an Attorney at Law for 33 years in Edwardsville. During that time he was elected to the School Board, was a member of Rotary, served on church committees, and the Boy Scouts. He also continued to enjoy tennis and planned many amazing vacations for his family including horse pack trips in the Tetons, house boat and fishing trips in Canada, having Fred fly us all to Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, and float trips in Missouri and the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho.
At 62 he retired and moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho where he had built a log home on 40 acres which was backed by national forest. He continued to play tennis and enjoyed being in the out-of-doors. In 1988 he and his wife began spending winters in Tucson and Green Valley, Arizona. They eventually moved permanently to Green Valley where he continued to play tennis. He was known as one of the better players in Green Valley, winning many of the local tournaments. He participated in the Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah where he won both the singles and doubles championships in his age bracket. He also qualified and played in the national level Senior Olympics but had to withdraw due to a sprained ankle.
He was preceded in death by his first wife in 1999 and married Janet Fogg. They were married for 11 years and lived in Green Valley until her death in 2011.
At the age of 90 he took his first step out of a perfectly good airplane and, after parachuting, landed safely on earth. His 90th birthday was celebrated by gathering with friends and family and watching the event on video. He received a personal letter from George H. Bush for his achievement.
Dave moved to Pocatello, Idaho, in 2013 to be near family. He continued to be alert and maintain his dry sense of humor until his death on February 24, 2016.
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my [Dad].” Red, Shawshank Redemption
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