Walter Simpson

Memorial service for Walter E. Simpson, 90, Lawrence, will be held Friday, Feb. 10 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 10th & Vermont in Lawrence.  Private inurnment at Oak Hill Cemetery.
 Reverend Simpson died on Feb. 2 at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community.  He was born March 7, 1921 at Mina, South Dakota, a son of Reverend John F. and Lovenah (Reisdorph) Simpson. 
He grew up in the plains of South Dakota, attending grade schools at Houghton, Avon and Pollock. He graduated from high school at Mitchell in 1939.  He attended college at Miltonvale, Kansas and at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion College in those days), earning the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Religion degrees.
He was united in marriage to Madalyn R. Johnson of Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1946.  They celebrated 64 years together, 44 in ministry.  Madalyn preceded him in death last year.
Reverend Simpson was a pastor for 10 years in the Wesleyan Methodist denomination.  His first parish was in Baker, Montana.  He also served churches in Brookings and Aberdeen, South Dakota, and in South Troy, Minnesota before joining the United Methodist Church and coming to Kansas.  He built and established a Wesleyan church, which continues today, in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the town of Belle Fourche.  
Reverend Simpson was an elder in the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1957-1991.  His Kansas churches were: Perry, Bonner Springs, and Seneca-Oneida.  In Kansas City, Kansas, he served Seventh Street and Wesley United Methodist churches.  He also enjoyed a 4-month interim at Central United Methodist in Lawrence, KS.
When he retired at age 70, he and Madalyn moved to Lawrence.  For 8 years, he served the community faithfully as driver of the Douglas County Senior Services van. 
Survivors include: two daughters, Teresa Kay Craver, Perry, KS and Joy Simpson, Kansas City, MO; one son, Stephen E. Simpson, Atlanta; two brothers, Franklin Simpson, Rapid City, South Dakota and Dr. David Simpson, Birmingham, Alabama; four grandchildren, Christine Simpson, Julia & Angela Zinn, and Brielle Simpson.
The family will greet friends at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 13th and Vermont in Lawrence, KS on Thurs., Feb. 9 from 4:00 – 6:30.
The family suggests memorials to First United Methodist Church, Lawrence, KS, or to Perry United Methodist Church – sent in care of the mortuary.

11 Condolences

  1. Paula Hladky and Willard Epling on February 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    We have so many memories of Walter and Madalyn when they were in ministry in Perry. If there was a manual written for new pastors to tell them all the good ways to serve a church, that manual was surely written about Walter Simpson. This space will not allow us to tell all of the many and wonderful ways that Walter touched the lives of the congregations he served. May the Lord bless Walter’s family with His love and keep them in His grace. Walter was one in a million and he will never be forgotten.

  2. Jim Brandt on February 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    All the family of Rev. Simpson are in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you all good grieving, the celebration of a life well lived and the hope of resurrection.

  3. Darren Guthridge on February 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I am sorry about your lose Joy.
    Darren Guthridge

  4. carolyn belshe on February 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Joy and family, Reading your family history provides such a background for who you are to us today here on campus. What gifts! May Peace be with all of you in these times of changes… my love and prayers,

  5. Sue McLaughlin on February 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Knwo that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Peace, Sue

  6. Debbie Bird on February 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

    What a gift he has obviously been to so many. He has given you a treasure of wonderful memories to reflect on. Prayers and Blessings to all of you.

  7. Patti & Shannon Jung on February 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Joy and Family
    May you all taste of the peace and joy which your Dad now enjoys fully with Christ.

  8. Brandon Bruton on February 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Joy. I am sorry that I won’t be able to make it. I am very sorry to hear about your father. Just know that he is in a better place. Bye for now.

  9. Howard Weigman on February 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I was a member of 7th Street United Methodist 1972-1974. I worked for Pastor Simpson part time answering the phone, printing newsletters, etc., at age 14. Also sang in chancel choir. I have a lot of good memories of him and Madalyn. Praying for all of you, glad I was able to tell you also in person at the viewing on 02-09. God bless.

  10. Howard Weigman Jr. on February 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I talked to my dad, and he wanted to express his condolences. His name is Howard also (Howard Sr) he is currently in a nursing home suffering from alzheimers. He does remember Walter and Madalyn. He is 78 yrs old. They were married on 03/07/1957 at 7th Street Methodist. Did find a good history on 7th Street Methodist on internet. My e-mail is

  11. Annette Petersen Rodriguez on May 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    On behalf of all of your past classmates from years gone by. Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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