Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Donald Gordon Simpson, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)October 28, 1926 – April 9, 2019
Donald Gordon Simpson, 92, passed away April 9, 2019 in Wilmington, NC.
A career US Air Force Lt. Col, he flew various aircraft, most notably piloting rescue helicopters in the Philippines, Vietnam, Okinawa, and Greenland. After retiring, he had a second career teaching math at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC. Don was a dedicated and skilled craftsman with wood projects ranging from hand turned bowls, scale model boats, and furniture, to a 30′ sailboat built in his driveway. Some of his fondest years of retirement were spent as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Tasked with training a pup through its first 18 months, Don and Bettie raised five puppies that went on to become service dogs to children with disabilities. In his 80’s he took up digital photography, eventually working solely with the latest version iPhone. Most recently he was taking drawing lessons while also studying Chaos Theory. He had a wicked sense of humor, and was quick to share his latest (dirty) joke.
Don is survived by his wife of 69 years, Bettie Simpson, three children, Michael (Joyce), Peter (Shaun), and Carol (Allan) Tucker, four grandchildren, Benjamin, Morgan, Christopher, and Emily, and seven great-grandchildren, Adeline, Juliet, Coralie, Beau, Harper, Wren, and Ronan. He loved spending time with family, thrilled to have the little ones as photo subjects.
We loved him dearly and he will be missed by all who knew him.
A private ceremony will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Canine Companions for Independence.