Longtime Hermosa Beach resident (42 years) Bill Simpson, age 88, passed away on September 21st, 2019 from lung cancer.
Bill was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, where he graduated from East High School in 1949. Following high school, Bill enlisted in the Air Force, in which he served until 1953 as an Airborne Radar Specialist. When Bill was discharged from the Air Force, he moved to Southern California, married Patricia Bishop and began his career in aerospace. Bill worked for Sperry, STL and TRW. A few highlights of Bill's career as a satellite and missile engineer included work on the Viking 1, Pioneer 10 spacecraft and test site launches at Vandenberg, Malibu and Florida. He retired from TRW in 1991. Outside of his time on the job, Bill enjoyed a variety of activities both with his family and individually. He was an avid Dodgers fan, regularly attending games both here at Dodger Stadium and at spring training in Arizona.
Bill also enjoyed golf, ocean fishing, and running in local road races. Bill also had the honor of running the 1984 Olympic Torch from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach. To commemorate his run, Manhattan Beach City Council awarded Bill a key to the city. Bill also loved to travel - his trips included annual visits to the rodeo in Santa Maria as well as New Year's Eve and the Kentucky Derby in Las Vegas. Bill also loved time with his friends on vacations to places like Europe and Costa Rica. His favorite weekend hangouts with 'the guys' were the Mermaid and the Poop Deck in Hermosa Beach.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth and Pearl, brothers Kenneth and Earl, and sister Elizabeth. He is survived by his sister Donna and children Gary Simpson, Mark Simpson, Dana Wieten, Paul Simpson, Erin McCrary and Carrie Davis, as well as 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
He will be greatly missed by his family and all of his friends. A celebration of Bill's life was held on November 9th at The Beach House and Hermosa Pier.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jan. 3, 2020.