Alan Simpson, 92, of Stow, died Saturday, Oct. 29, at his home.
He was born Sept. 4, 1924 in Piney Fork, to Lincoln and Kathryn (Larmer) Simpson. As a young boy, his family moved to Nottingham where his parents owned Simpson’s Serview Inn, a combination restaurant, small grocery store, and gasoline station. Alan had many wonderful memories growing up there with his older brother Ted and his “baby” brother Jerry. He graduated from Freeport High School (1941) where he was a standout basketball player, AND he had the scrapbook to prove it!
Alan attended the College of Wooster until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. He trained at the Great Lakes Naval Center and was surprised when his chow was served up by Cleveland Brown’s standout, Otto Graham. Alan was a radioman on USS LST-294 in the European Campaign and was in the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day. Years later Alan enjoyed meeting Bob Feller, who was a speaker at an LST Association Meeting, and proudly displayed their picture.
Alan met the love of his life, Lois Ratzenberger, on a blind date. They were married on Dec. 22, 1945 and shared 69 years together. Alan and Lois moved to Nottingham to help run the family business. They had three daughters: Alana Samaniego (Jay) of The Woodlands, Texas, Suzie Simpson of Columbus, and Becky (Jim) Dunlap of Stow. In 1967, they moved to Freeport where they operated Simpson’s A&W Drive-In, home of the famous Simpburger. In addition to the family business, Alan worked hard to provide for his family, working as a bus driver, basketball referee, insurance agent, county health sanitarian, and fair board member. He loved playing golf at the Cadiz Country Club. Alan and his friends would gather in the mornings for a round of golf and comradery. His friends loved to tease the superstitious Alan about his once in a lifetime hole-in-one on the 13th hole! Alan and Lois moved to Stow in May of 2004. And that is when Julie Fortin, their fourth “daughter,” arrived. Julie was so much more than a caregiver to Alan and Lois, and they were blessed to have her in their lives.
Alan was a member of the Freeport Presbyterian Church. He was also a Mason in the Flushing Lodge #298, a sixty-seven year member of the American Legion Post 0034, and a life member of the VFW. He belonged to the Ohio Environmental Health Association, and both the United States and Ohio LST Associations.
He is survived by his three daughters, six grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren as well as brother-in-law George (Linda) Ratzenberger of Cincinnati and sister-in-law Marquita (Jerry) Simpson of Prince George, Virginia. Alan also leaves behind his precious dog Katie who brought him great joy for the past ten years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois; grandson, David Kinsey; brothers, Ted and Jerry Simpson; and sisters-in-law, Ila (Ted) Simpson and Priscilla (George) Ratzenberger.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Freeport Presbyterian Church with Rev. Jim McConnell officiating. The inurnment will take place at Unionport Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to either the Freeport Presbyterian Church or the Nottingham Presbyterian Church. Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory are handling the arrangements.