Ralph DeWaine Simpson, age 83, passed away peacefully with family by his side on July 17, 2019, at Good Shepherd Community, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.
He was born the fifth of eight children to Mack Reese and Eugie Lee (Webster) Simpson in the small town of O’Donnell, Texas. He developed his strong work ethic at an early age and later worked in the local pharmacy to save money for college. He attended Texas Tech, worked in the registrar’s office to put himself through school, and graduated in three years. Later he received two masters and a doctorate degree in education/curriculum from USC. He was proud of his Texas roots and what he accomplished on his own merit.
After college, Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. He described it as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He then applied to the U.S. Dept. of Defense Schools where he was a high school business teacher for 32 years in Germany. He was also head of the department and the Teacher Association (OEA) rep. He always shared his belief in the importance of education and hard work with his students.
Ralph met his wife of 45 years, Virginia (Ginny) DeMarais, in 1970 while both were teaching at Frankfurt High School. They married in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. on July 20, 1974. Each summer they returned to their peaceful cabin on Mille Lacs Lake, where Ralph loved working outside. Ralph and Ginny were blessed with two daughters, Eugenia and LeAnne. His “dad jokes” and sense of humor will always be remembered. The four of them have fond memories of living in Europe and the opportunities it presented.
He spoke German fluently, enjoyed art, Tole painting, leather/wood working, classical music, researching Simpson Family genealogy, rock collecting, and had a great eye for antiques. He became Catholic and later co-lead RCIA.
In 1995, Ralph retired, moved back to the U.S., residing in St. Cloud, Minn. He taught business finance at St. John’s University for two years and enjoyed the local Dead Theologians Society book club. He was an active member at St. Peter’s Parish, involved in various church ministries. Ralph’s health slowly declined starting in 2010 due to dementia. His wife Ginny became his dedicated caregiver for 9 years. The last month of his life was spent at Good Shepherd Community with hospice. We are grateful for all of their nursing care.
Ralph was the last of eight Simpson siblings, whom he loved dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Jim Simpson (Gladys); and sisters Maxine Hudgins (B.W.), Maurice “Sug” Chamberlain, Pat Simpson (Jim), Mary Husted (George), Ethel “Bea” Strong (Dick), and Carolyn “Kay” Rebber (Paul).
He is survived by his loving wife, Virginia; daughters Eugenia (Rob Roubal) of Kansas City and LeAnne (Tom Abramson) of North Saint Paul; grandchildren, Noah and Cecelia Roubal, Olive and June Abramson; brother-in-law, (Homer), DeMarais; in-laws; many loving nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
Services will be held at Good Shepherd Chapel, Sauk Rapids, Minn., on Friday, July 26 with visitation at 10 a.m. and Mass at 11 a.m. A cremation burial service will be held Monday, July 29, 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cemetery, near Wahkon, Minn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities in St. Cloud or the O’Donnell, TX Museum. The family is grateful to Benson Funeral Home for their heartfelt service.