Obituary for Richard Simpson
Richard Charles Simpson Who lived his life as a devoted son, husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend to many, died Monday August 11, 2008 of natural causes at the age of 83, one day before his 58th anniversary. He was born in Tacoma, Washington on March 25, 1926 to John Phillip and Hazel Margaret Pohl Simpson, the fifth of six children. Along with his sisters and brothers, he attended St. Patrick's School. He graduated from Bellarmine High School in 1943 and spent one year at the University of Washington before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 18. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Tacoma and worked his way through the College of Puget Sound, graduating in 1950 with a degree in history. While at CPS he was a member of Beta Theta Pi and sang with the Adelphian Choir. He also cleaned damaged mosaics in Turkey and improved his Spanish in Mexico. He met the love of his life, Yvonne Gauthier, at a beach bonfire in the summer of 1947 and they married at St. Patrick Parish on August 12, 1950. After brief stays in Denver, CO and Ritzville WA they settled in Tacoma and raised their family. Mr. Simpson possessed a beautiful, clear tenor voice and was a frequent soloist as a member of St. Patrick's choir. He sang often with his wife and children, performed roles with the Tacoma Opera Society, and played guitar with the Glenwood Acres Gutplucking Society during the heyday of folk music. A fellow member was the Tacoma News Tribune columnist Denny McGougan, who often wrote about the exploits of his friend "Crazy Rich," an apt description which became a beloved nickname. He loved harmless pranks and let no pun or play on words go unnoticed. A long-time sales executive with the George Scofield Company, he was well-known in the local building materials industry and served as president of the Northwest Lath and Plaster Bureau. Mr. Simpson was a committed Roman Catholic and lifelong member of St. Patrick's Parish. He was active in many aspects of parish life, and also served as president of the Bellarmine Parent's Council. He was preceded in death by his daughter Catherine and by his sister Susan Simpson Sanders. In addition to his wife, who cared selflessly for him over years of declining health, he is survived by his daughter Margaret and her husband Jack Daniel of Tacoma, son Richard Jr. and his wife Johanna of New Hampshire, son Paul and his wife Patricia of Seattle, and son Thomas and his wife Louise of Piedmont, CA. He also leaves his sisters Dorothy Wilson, Margaret (Peaches) Clarke, brothers Philip and James, and his grandchildren Charles and his wife Crystal, Peter, Richard, Jonathan, Merrill, Lindsey, Kathryn, Kyra, and Ailey, 26 nieces and nephews, and countless friends, including Bill W. A Rosary will be said on Thursday evening August 14 at 7:30 pm. at the Gaffney Funeral Home at 1002 South Yakima Avenue in Tacoma. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday August 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church, Tacoma, with reception to follow in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Franciscan Hospice, 2901 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 1002 South Yakima Avenue, Tacoma, WA (253) 572-6003. www.Gaffney Cares.com .