Joe Preston Simpson Sr., 89, passed away Sunday, May 12, 2013, at Morningside Assisted Living. He was born in Loudon, Tenn. in 1923 and was a son of the late Nell Dyer and Homer Harrison Simpson. He was married to Charlaine Cash Simpson, originally from Chattanooga, Tenn. Their best friends arranged a blind date for them to meet before their college graduations, which ironically occurred at the same hour on the same day in different cities. The Simpsons were married a year later in Tennessee. They enjoyed a fine partnership as husband and wife. He encouraged her musical interests, and she supported his interests in nature and many professional endeavors. They shared a love of family, their friends and international travel. After graduation from Loudon High School, Joe went into the U.S. Navy
in 1942 and spent four years serving mainly in overseas duty. Returning from active duty he entered Tennessee Wesleyan College and graduated in 1948. He received a bachelor of science in forestry from The University of Georgia
in 1950. He began his career in forestry in Chattanooga working for the Department of Conservation from 1950-1958, then became a district forester with Catawba Timber Company, a division of Bowater International, Lancaster Area. During his tenure with the company, he served as President and woods manager for its operation until 1989 when he retired. Joe was recognized for his outstanding and insightful leadership skills throughout the community and state. Governor David Beasley appointed him to the S.C. Forestry Commission, and in this capacity he was able to demonstrate his considerable knowledge of forestry, one of the state's most crucial economic assets. In the Lancaster community, he also was involved in civic and church organizations holding positions of leadership as president of both the Lancaster Rotary Club
and the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Springs Memorial Hospital board and an active member of First United Methodist Church. Joe was a consummate outdoorsman. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and especially loved salmon fishing. He instilled his passion for nature in Joe Jr., who could never forget memories of salmon fishing with his dad in Alaska. His grandsons and other sportsmen learned from Joe Sr. the pleasures of the outdoors. All his family and friends agree that Joe Simpson Sr. knew how to live, how to make fun out of life's adventures and mysteries and how to share his many gifts with others. He made a real difference in the lives of all who knew him. He was always a source of encouragement to both of his children, Ruth and Joe. He loved them unconditionally. He was "Papa Joe" to all of his grandchildren, who adored him, and to everyone who knew him. His generosity was unsurpassed. "Celebrate life" was Joe Simpson Sr.'s motto. Surviving him is his wife of 62 years, Charlaine Cash Simpson; his daughter, Ruth Simpson Welesko and her husband, Duane Michael Welesko, of Macon, Ga; his son, Joe Preston Simpson Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth Wylie Simpson, of Lancaster; and his grandchildren, Holly Simpson McInnis and her husband, Michael DuBose McInnis, of Simpsonville, Joe Preston Simpson III and his wife, Anna Brown Simpson, of Charlotte, Wylie Harrison Simpson of Lancaster, David Michael Welesko of Chattanooga and Ashley Alexandra Welesko of Atlanta; and a great-grandson, Brady Adams McInnis. Joe Simpson was preceded in death by a brother, Homer Vaughn Simpson of Loudon. The memorial service of remembrance is 2 p.m. today May 15, at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster, officiated by the Rev. Charles Phillips. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. today, May 15, in the church parlor. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 608, Lancaster, SC 29721 and also to Hospice Care of South Carolina, 412 N. White Street, Lancaster, SC 2920. Online condolences may be posted at www.mcleanfuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors, Mahaffey Chapel is serving the family of Joe P. Simpson Sr.