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.