by Steve & Barry Simpson
Papa Duke passed on Sunday. Our strong and steady patriarch has slipped away.
Dad grew up fast and hard, which taught him how to survive and gifted him with a desire and determination to improve his lot in life.
Our father’s motto could easily have been “Buy, sell, trade, while focusing on education and personal growth.” His slogan, “Just get it done.”
It would be easy to expound on his success in business, but all one needs do is visit the towns of Blanding and Bluff to witness the ripples of success he had in those beloved backwaters.
We believe Dad would rather have had us focus on his accomplishments with family more than anything else.
According to Duke, marrying “Momma Rosa” was the best move he ever made. He called her his “Rose among the Thorns” and cherished her very existence.
Six years, and five kids after the nuptials, he and his Portuguese Princess decided enough was enough and began to focus on raising their boisterous brood.
Dad’s quest for knowledge was inspiring, and he passed that passion on to his children, along with a healthy appreciation for hard work and what diligent effort can help you accomplish.
One of Dad’s favorite sayings was: “If you can’t get the job done with the tool you’re using, get a bigger hammer.”
As a family we accomplished many goals together, built several businesses, and made much personal progress.
As time went on, everyone began to branch out and build businesses of their own.
Dad complained, “I raised too many ‘Type A’ personalities – too many Chiefs, and not enough Indians.”
What did make our father proud was that our family is strongly bonded.
We may grumble and fuss with each other, but be assured, we will pull together if the need arises. “Family First!” was something Dad was passionate about.
William Woodrow (Duke) Simpson lived a long and fruitful life. He was loved and respected by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
His mind was strong and active and his clear blue eyes remained focused right up until the moment he took his last breath.
The morning before he passed into the spirit realm, he shared a new idea for a business venture he wanted to undertake with his bride – something about buying a motor home and traveling the RV Park circuit selling American Indian Art to pay his way and see the country.
We believe Dad is surely out there, tripping among the stars, making deals, motivating those who have gone before, and building something for us to help him put a roof on and grow when we arrive to be with him once more.
There will be a reception to honor and celebrate Duke’s life on Saturday, June 8 at the Centennial Park in Blanding from 4 to 6 p.m. Please come join us in saying goodbye to our father and friend.