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Richard Simpson


1935 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Richard Simpson Obituary
Richard Dean Simpson was born on January 27, 1935 in Portis, Kansas to John Franklin and Eleanor Isabell (Neeper) Simpson. He passed away on March 6, 2017 in Laramie, Wyoming. He grew up on a farm near Portis during the Dust Bowl Era where his favorite pastimes were riding his bike as well as playing with his faithful dog, Brownie. Richard's parents taught him to be industrious and resourceful; qualities that served him well throughout his life. Richard was a member of the Methodist church from when he was seven days old and had the certificate to prove it. He attended Twelve Mile School, Barefoot Nation School and Portis High School. He earned an elementary teacher certificate at Fort Hays Kansas State College and taught elementary school in Downs, Kansas for a year before finishing his Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Hays. While at Hays, Richard met Eleanor (Burg) Lawton at a Methodist student activity and they dated for three months before marrying on May 29, 1957, in the Methodist Church. In one day, Richard received his Bachelor degree, got married, and adopted Eleanor's daughter, Lorraine. In 1963, he completed a Master of Arts degree from Colorado State College. Richard and Eleanor raised their family in Wamego, Kansas for a number of years, where he was an award-winning art teacher at Wamego High School until his retirement. He taught his students about life as well as art, telling them that obstacles are simply opportunities to learn something. He taught for 41 years and 31 of those years at Wamego. He started the art program for Wamego School in 1965. Richard had a love of music and he played the piano and organ. He is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, half- brother, Elmo Allredge, daughter-in-law, Sherri Simpson, grandson, Caleb Robinson, and great-grandson, Jackson Forsythe. Richard is survived by his wife, Eleanor of the home; his daughter, Lorraine Van Zee and husband, Calvin of Laramie, WY. Daughter, Teri Robinson and husband, James of Coffeyville, Kansas; his son, Gery Simpson of Laramie, WY; his six grandchildren, Abby Howe and husband Brian, Sara Forsythe and husband, Joshua, Renee Tahja and husband Lee, Luke Robinson and wife, Christine, Benjamin Robinson, and Lucinda Van Zee; and four great-grandsons, Tayte and Levi Tahja, Eli Forsythe, and Rayland Callahan. A Celebration of Richards Life was held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2017 at Spring Wind Assisted Living Facility, 1072 N. 22nd St. Laramie, WY. Mem. contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson Research, www.michaeljfox.org/ tribute/tribute-page.php?id=20135
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on Mar. 15, 2017
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