Samuel Joseph “Joe” Simpson, 95, of Winona passed away Friday, July 25, 2014 at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital. Mr. Simpson was born in Winona, Mississippi January 24, 1919, son of Edward Harmon Simpson, Sr. and Mary Curtis Simpson and the sixth of eight children. He married the late Bonnie Jean Mann of Carrollton, Mississippi on December 15, 1951. Their children are Lidell Mann Simpson of Ridgeland and Nita Jean Simpson Henry, wife of James Robert “Bobby” Henry, of Madison. Grandchildren are Neal Simpson Henry of West Palm Beach, Fla. and William Joseph Henry of Madison. Along with his children and grandchildren, Mr. Simpson is survived by one sister, Vivian “Bibby” Cottingham of Nashville, Tenn., his sister-in-law, Sarah Mann Bell (Charlie) and a host of nieces and nephews.
Mr. Simpson graduated from Winona High School in 1936 and from the University of Mississippi School of Business in 1940. He attended University of Texas Law School in 1946 and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law and was admitted to Mississippi Bar in 1948. He practiced law at Winona, Mississippi, 1948-1953, and served as Mayor of Winona from January 1949 until July 1953.
Mr. Simpson worked in various positions at Screw Conveyor Corporation in Winona from 1953 until retirement as Winona Plant Manager in 1986. While at Screw Conveyor Corporation, he served as President of Mississippi Manufacturers Association 1966-67 and Chairman of the Board the following year.
After retirement from Screw Conveyor, Mr. Simpson managed an extensive family tree farming operation in Carroll County, Mississippi.
Mr. Simpson served in U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, from July 7, 1942 until December 17, 1945, with eighteen months overseas service in England. He was discharged with rank of T/Sergeant.
Mr. Simpson was an active member of Moore Memorial United Methodist Church from childhood, including service as Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent and member and Chairman of Official Board. He was a life member of Herring-Harris Post 3938, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Life member and past commander of Nick T. Pegues Post 52, the American Legion, along with long time member and past president of the Winona Rotary Club.
After reaching the age of 62 years (from April 1981 until November 1984), Mr. Simpson competed in approximately 40 long distance foot races (from 5 kilometers to 26.2 miles in length), including the Mississippi Marathon, New Orleans Marathon, Boston Marathon, Peachtree Run in Atlanta, Memphis in May run and Gum Tree run in Tupelo. His best time for 10k (6.2 miles) was 42 minutes, 56 seconds in the “Senior Olympics” at Moscow, Tennessee on May 15, 1982. His best time for a marathon 26.2 miles) was 3 hours, 27 minutes, and 7 seconds in the “Mardi Gras Marathon” across Lake Pontchatrain Causeway near New Orleans, on February 7, 1982, where he qualified for the Boston Marathon. Mr. Simpson ran the Boston Marathon on April 17, 1982, but struggled to finish.
Memorials may be sent to Moore Memorial United Methodist Church, Family Life Center Fund, 201 Magnolia Street, Winona, MS 38967.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mr. Simpson was held Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from the sanctuary of Moore Memorial United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. in Winona. Family received friends Monday, July 28, 2014 from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Family Life Center of Moore Memorial United Methodist Church. Services were officiated by Reverend Rusty Keen, with burial in Oakwood Cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to Lee Funeral Home in Winona.
The family would like to express their great appreciation to the women who provided loving and compassinate care to Mr. Simpson during his illness.