Kathryn Marie Simpson passed away peacefully on the night of Sept. 6, 2011, at the age of 95 with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter by her side.
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She was born March 24, 1916, in Paradise, Kan., the daughter of John T. and Catherine Marie (Murphy) Harrell Sr. She grew up in the Paradise area and attended schools there, graduating from Paradise High School.
She attended Ft. Hays State College receiving a degree in education. Kathryn taught in elementary schools in Kansas and Wyoming off and on for 13 years before becoming a full-time mother and homemaker.
Kathryn married R.D. Simpson on Nov. 8, 1953, in Salina, Kan.. With that marriage, she gained two adopted sons, Robert David and John Jay Simpson. The marriage was blessed with the arrival of a third son, Thomas H. Simpson, in February 1956.
The family moved to Wyoming in 1963, with four years in Casper and then in Glenrock, Wyo. Kathryn resided in Glenrock, living independently at home, until September 2007, when, at the age of 91, she moved to Bozeman to be closer to her son, Tom, granddaughter, Jennifer, and great grandson, Devin. While living in Bozeman at Aspen Pointe and then at Birchwood, she enjoyed many new friendships among the other residents and staff. At the time of her death, Kathryn was living at the Spring Creek Inn, surrounded by the wonderful and caring staff.
While living in Wyoming, Kathryn was a 25-year volunteer at the Natrona County Hospital, filling various needs. She was active in many civic organizations, including 50 years with Eastern Star, Beta Sigma Phi and the PEO Sisterhood. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Casper until her death, but when she could no longer drive to Casper by herself, she began attending the Christ Episcopal Church in Glenrock.
In her younger years, Kathryn cherished the time spent with her family along with playing the piano, bowling and traveling. She enjoyed all music and had a fondness for the Lawrence Welk Show until the end. Kathryn enjoyed the countless activities and gathering with her family and many friends in Eastern Star, Beta Sigma Phi and PEO.
Kathryn is survived by her sons, Thomas (Ann) Simpson of Bozeman, Robert (Mary Sue) Simpson of Casper, Wyo., and John (Miriam) Simpson of Whitefish; granddaughter, Jennifer Simpson; great-grandson, Devin Mosness of Bozeman; and out-of-state grandchildren, Luke (Linda) Drury, Kendra Drury, Jean Marie Neumann, Daniel Simpson and Darin Simpson.
Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents; infant sister, Elna Margaret Simpson; her brother, John T. Harrell Jr. and his wife, Doris Zelma (Wright) Harrell.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel. A memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. Burial will immediately follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery.
A memorial service will be held in Glenrock, Wyo., at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 11, 2011