In memory of
Robert and Lena SIMPSON
SIMPSON, Lena Ann November 17, 2016 SIMPSON, Robert Edward December 4, 2016 On November 17, 2016, Lena Ann Simpson (nee Styba) passed away, closely followed into the night on December 4, 2016 by Robert Edward Simpson. "Bob" and "Lee" both lived a well-loved, honourable 98 years, and were married 64 years. They were fixtures in the small community of Boundary Bay, South Delta where they retired after many summers of Lee's open kitchen for all the local beach kids, and Bob swimming with his children and grandchildren. Lee was a prairie girl, born in Griffin, Saskatchewan into a close railway family of 4 girls and one brother, all now deceased. After a childhood skating on the ponds and playing in the wheat fields, Lee trained as a nurse in Toronto and became a head surgical nurse during WWII which affected her deeply. Moving to Lulu Island (Richmond) with her family and working at Shaughnessy Hospital brought her within the welcoming eyesight of Dr. Bob. After a courtship involving chicken scaring motorcycle visits at her mother's home, and indulging her love of fishing by renting a boat at Sewells to chase salmon, they were married in 1952, and brought Marilee, Robert and Paul into the world. Lee was an optimistic and pragmatic fun-loving woman, who loved cooking, canning and chatting with her sisters, curling at the Arbutus club, or teaching her beloved grandson Robbie how to bake her famous apple pies. In midlife, having raised her kids with love and attention, her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to marshal the family's help in opening "a little teahouse", which turned into the Hawthornes Restaurant in Point Roberts. Perhaps Mom's happiest place was holding her fishing rod at the front of a boat. The last to reel in her line as darkness fell - ever the undying optimist. Robert "Bob" Simpson was born in Vancouver in 1918 at Robson and Bute Street, and lived in the west end, swimming in English Bay and skating on Lost Lagoon. He was a successful and highly competitive student all his life obtaining his BSc and MSc at UBC, then following in his father's steps, his MD at Queens University. He was a Captain in the Army, serving at the very end of the war by escorting wounded soldiers and war brides home from England. Returning to Vancouver he worked first at VGH and then spent the rest of his career at Shaughnessy Veterans Hospital where he became head of the Anesthesia department. He was a ground-breaking educator on CPR, once demonstrating the new technique on daughter Marilee to a large QE theatre crowd. Bob spent his boyhood summers in Point Roberts and was a wonderful swimmer through 90 years of dips in Boundary Bay and multi-hour snorkels in Maui. In his late fifties he became a certified scuba diver. Retiring to their former beach house brought Bob and Lee close to the warm home of daughter Marilee, son-in-law Dirk and grandkids Nicole and Robbie. Engaging with his beloved grandchildren Nicole, Robbie, Jack and Lachlan brought new meaning to Bob's life and he delighted in spending time with them, swimming with Lachlan, driving Robbie and Nicole around to their events and taking great pride in Nicole's choice to follow him into healthcare. Bob's last great quest was to reach 100, but being with Lee was more important in the end. A memorial for Bob and Lee will be held Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Beach Grove Golf Club 5946 12th Ave., Tsawwassen.
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