A Celebration of Life for Eugene “Papa Gene” Simpson will be held on Saturday, September 28, at 11 a.m. at the Savoy United Pentecostal Church in Savoy, Texas, with lunch to follow.
Eugene Simpson was born in Austin, Texas on June 18, 1939, to Irvalee White Simpson and Archie Simpson. Growing up in Austin, he loved to run the river banks, swimming and fishing, with his 13 brothers and sisters. He was extremely proud of the fact that he graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School, and later attended Nixon-Clay Commercial College.
In 1961 he joined the U.S. Army and was eventually stationed at Ford Ord in Monterey, California. While in the Army, he was a personnel specialist, a sharpshooter, and earned a Good Conduct medal. Most importantly, while in California, he met and married his wife, Audrey Kemper Simpson. They were married on November 7, 1964, and enjoyed 55 years of wedded bliss (most of the time).
Papa Gene was a larger-than-life, big bear of a guy who was known as a gentle giant. He owned and operated Simpson Medical Equipment in Durant, Oklahoma for 30 years. A key part to his business model was generosity. If you couldn’t pay, he would find a way for you to have it anyway. He often gave a handout to those in need.
Papa Gene’s most important mission in life was providing for his family. He wanted everyone to have plenty to eat and a bit of cash. He loved a good cup of coffee, and tried to offer one to the world. He was a talented fireplace builder, working with Austin stone, and frequently built fires in them to enjoy a warm fire on a cold day, with a good cup of coffee for himself, family and friends.
Another of Papa Gene’s favorite pastimes was to play the piano and sing. Around the holidays it was Christmas carols, and the rest of the year, gospel hymns. He loved to metal detect and often searched for treasure in the Durant area, but also traveled to far away places to detect for old coins and dig for old bottles. He loved to tell stories of his finds and his adventures. Papa Gene loved animals of all kinds. He had such fun with
parrots, goats, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and even a coon.
Among Papa Gene’s survivors are his wife, Audrey, son Nathan Simpson, daughter Amy Edmonds, grandsons Blake Simpson & wife Andriea, Geron Simpson, Jay Reagan Simpson, granddaughter Hannah Hurd and husband Nick, step-granddaughter Jessie Murphy, and six great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are with Mullican-Little Funeral Home, Bells, Texas. An online registry may be signed at www.mullicanlittle.com