Gary Fowler Simpson, 82, Independence, Kansas passed away on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at Montgomery Place in Independence, Kansas. A private family burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 23, 2017. A Celebration of Life Service will be held 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory with Reverend Terry Hatfield officiating. The family requests memorial contributions may be made to Independence Public Library or Forpaz in lieu of flowers and may be left with the chapel.
Gary was born July 26, 1935 in Santa Ana, California to Raymond Grant and Dolly (Fowler) Simpson Sr. Gary graduated from Santa Ana High School in 1953. Following graduation, he was drafted into the United States Navy in 1954 where he served for 8 years. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Gary was then employed by California Division of Forestry where he obtained the position of Fire Captain. Gary was united in marriage to Leseley J. Adey on May 22, 1970 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple then made their home in San Bernardino, California where Gary continued his employment with the California Division of Forestry for 25 years until his retirement.
In 1979, the couple moved to Cherryvale, Kansas where Gary was employed with Newton's True Value for 16 years. In 1989, Gary and Leseley moved to Independence, Kansas where Gary then became employed by Young's True Value. He was employed part time for 6 years before retiring for good. Gary was very active in the communities where he lived. In San Bernardino he was a member of the opening night Carriage of Civic Light Opera, a member of the Cherryvale Library Board and served as Treasurer, he helped with the Cherryvale fireworks display, a member of the Cherryvale County Club, a member of The Independence Bike Club "Cycle Bob's", was a member of the Independence Country Club, Co-Chairman with Leseley of the Neewollah Judges Committee for 2 years, and a 35 year supporter and attendee of the William Inge Festival at Independence Community College. Gary's hobbies included woodworking, gardening, boating at Grand Lake, Oklahoma, golfing, watching Leseley perform on stage in the Civic Light Opera and Inge Festival plays, and exercising by walking Ralph Mitchell Zoo in Independence and talking with the animals.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Carolyn Finlayson; and one niece, Melissa Reynolds. Survivors include his wife of 47 years Leseley, of the home; two daughters, Nancy Simpson, Yucaipa, California, and Barbara (Mike) McLelland, Calimesa, California; one sister, Susan (Karl) Wagner, Delmar, California; one brother, Raymond Grant (Dolly) Simpson Jr, Costa Mesa, California; one brother-in-law, Al Finlayson, Placentia, California; one sister-in-law, Liz Reynolds, Independence, Kansas; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren, all of California; three nephews, two of California and one of Colorado; and five nieces of California, and one niece, two great-nephews and a great-niece, of Kansas.
Arrangements entrusted to Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory.