James Edward Simpson

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
James Simpson

James Edward Simpson, 90, formerly of Benton Harbor, Mich., passed away Thursday, January 4, 2018, at his home in Peoria, Ariz., where he resided these last four years.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan.13, with Pastor Louis Staub officiating. Burial to follow at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph, Mich. Friends may visit with the family from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday at the funeral home. Those wishing to sign Jamesí guestbook may do so online at www.starks-menchinger.com. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinsonís Association or Southland Hospice.

James was born on February 15, 1927, in Rector, Ark., to Albert and Bertha (Story) Simpson. He grew up in northern Arkansas, and across the border in Missouri, then moved to Michigan at the age of 14. In Michigan he worked first on farms and later as a painter before he joined Whirlpool, where he worked 42 years, beginning as an assembler and then working for many years in shipping. He was number-two in the seniority when he retired. After a year of restless retirement, he returned to work part-time at Pri Mart Fuel Center for another 14 years.

As a young man, James wanted a family and a home of his own. To that end, he married Thelma Stump and started that family. A few years later they built their own home themselves. He dedicated his whole life to his family and their well-being, and thus realized his dream. He never wavered.

Soon after his marriage, James and Thelma joined the local Church of the Nazarene where they worshipped and served in various capacities for over 60 years. James was at various times a Sunday School teacher, Song Leader, Sunday School Superintendent and Member of the Church Board. He also sang in a quartet for years.

James was an avid observer of the incredible progress of technology during his lifetime and would engage anyone he could in discussions about it. He often mused about what was yet to come.

Known for his beaming smile, he kept his optimism for life to the end, displaying his usual wit and wisdom about it all along the way.

James is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Thelma; daughters Mary (Lee) Long of Peoria, Ariz. and Judy (Les) Peters, of Surprise, Ariz.; son Jimmy (Sherry) Simpson of Los Altos, Calif.; five grandsons, three great grandsons, and four great granddaughters.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Albert Marion and Bertha Haven; both brothers, Hershel Lee and Donald Orval; and all three sisters Jewel Pauline, Gladys Geneva and Almarie.