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On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, William (Bill) L. Simpson, passed away at the age of 96.
Bill was born on February 17, 1923 in the Portage Creek District area to William and Gladys Simpson. Raised on the family farm with his brother and two sisters, it was in these early years that he developed a passion for the land. A farmer at heart. He often shared memories of farming and running trap lines with his father and brother.
In the 1940’s, Bill joined the army and trained at Shilo, MB. Although never deployed overseas, he remained a loyal lifelong member of the Royal Canadian Legion #65.
On May 27, 1948, he married Edythe (Ede) McKay, the love of his life. Their marriage was one of complete companionship and together they lived life to its fullest. They raised two sons (Robert and Doug) and a daughter (Dawn). Always wanting a larger family, they proudly fostered many children and were a billet family with the Portage Terriers.
In the 1960’s Bill and family moved into Portage la Prairie to pursue a career of almost 20 years at the Agassiz Youth Centre and to support his children while they became involved in sport, community and school activities.
Bill loved listening to family and friends play the piano. From impromptu home performances to nights out at the dance hall with Ede. His toes tapped right until his final year.
Upon retirement in the 1980’s, Bill and Ede, built a home back on the farm where they proudly hosted family and friends for many gatherings. This was the era when Bill fully embraced the title of Grandpa to seven grandchildren. The farm grew to include numerous animals, motorized activities and became a bustle of sleepovers, sleigh rides and forts.
With a passion for travel near and far, over the years, Bill visited many destinations with Ede by his side.
After 60 years of marriage, Ede passed away and left Bill in charge of meeting and holding a total of 15 great-grandchildren whom he took great pride in watching over the years.
Bill was an active member of his community. From the Elks, to the Portage Creek School Board, to various church committees, he was always engaged in his quiet manner. Bill also loved to be physically active, dancing through his younger years with Ede and playing organized sport well into his senior years with the liniment league, and even earned an 8-ender with his fellow curling teammates.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Edythe Simpson, his brother Monty Simpson and sister Jean Gibbs.
Left to cherish his memory: sister Nora Hughes, son Robert & Patty Simpson, grandson Dale & Jennifer Simpson (Aubrey & Emilia), grandson Brent Simpson, grandson Scott & Becky Simpson (Cohen, Nixon & Mila), daughter Dawn & John Hayes, grandson Greg & Louise Hayes (Zachary & Liana), granddaughter Kyla & Jayson Dyck (Grace & Jaxon), son Doug & Colleen Simpson, granddaughter Jennifer & Shaun Dyck (Owen & Nathan), granddaughter Carlee & Darren Blyth (James, Liam, Connor & Clark).
He will also forever be in the memories of many extended family members, friends and the staff at Lions Prairie Manor whom took great care of him and benefited from his humor in his last few years of life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lions Prairie Manor Foundation Inc., 24 - 9th Street NE, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3V4, Portage District General Hospital Foundation, 524 – 5th St.SE, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3A8 or Community Foundation of Portage & District, 206 Saskatchewan Ave East, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K9.
In keeping with Bill’s wishes, no formal service will be held.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. 204-857-4021 www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
Lions Prairie Manor Foundation Inc.
24 9th St. SE, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 3V4,
Portage District General Hospital Foundation
524 5th St. SE, Portage la Prairie, MB MB R1N 3A8
Community Foundation of Portage and District Inc.
206 E Saskatchewan Ave., Portage la Prairie MB R1N 0K9