Tuesday, September 11, 2007


We returned from vacation today to find out that while we were away my uncle died. He wasn't sick, he wasn't diseased, he wasn't old. He was young and vibrant and loving and full of life. And life...well life isn't fair. It is volatile and precious and taken for granted every day.

I was fortunate enough to grow up close to this uncle...he was like a father to me. He was my mom's oldest bother, his name is Steven Neal Simpson, and he is the kind of person that everyone admires. There was always a smirk on his face. He was genuine. He was fun. He was humble. He was talented. He was kind. He was generous. He was loving.

He adored his wife, he respected his wife. They had an ease about their relationship. Nate and I would often comment, that it was a relationship to emulate. Steve has two daughters whom he admired greatly. He puffed with pride when he saw them. He teased them the way only a father could do. He had pictures of them all over his dental lab. There is nothing more unfair in my world right now then that these three remarkable women; Jan, Brooke and Brandi will have to go on with their lives without him.

At times like these, it is hard to be away. Hard to comfort the ones you love. Hard to believe that this is really happening. I hope that they know our thoughts and love are with them at this difficult time.

Steven Neal Simpson, 60, of Blackfoot, died of injuries sustained in a motorcyle accident on Sept. 8, 2007, just north of Preston, Idaho.

Steven came into this world on Oct. 24, 1946, born to Shirley Peterson Simpson and Keith Boothe Simpson. He was born in Burley, Idaho, and made his debut at a whopping 10 pounds. He spent his early childhood in Burley, St. Louis, Mo., and San Diego, Calif., while his father pursued his dental degree and completed his Navy service. The family located to Blackfoot in 1954 when Keith opened his dental practice. Steve quickly made Blackfoot his own, making friends along the way. Steve was a gifted athlete in his younger days. He played first string football, basketball, and baseball throughout his high school career. He graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1965. After a year at Utah State, he joined the Navy in 1966 during the Vietnam conflict. He served mainly as a radioman on the USS Constellation and at the naval base in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1969.

Steve, encouraged by his dad, decided to attend dental laboratory school at Portland Community College in Portland, Ore. He graduated in 1974 with an associate's degree in dental laboratory technology. While in Portland he met and married the love of his life, Jan Merre King, who was also attending PCC. They were married in Beaverton, Ore., on Sept. 1, 1973. After completing school, Steve packed up his new bride and returned to his beloved Idaho. Steve started his career with Treasure Dental Lab in Idaho Falls, learning the trade from Barry Treasure. Always a quick study, Steve decided to start his own lab in Blackfoot in 1975. He first worked out of his basement and then in 1976 moved his lab to the Simpson Dental Clinic and named it Parkway Dental Laboratory.
In 1983, he and his longtime friend, John Buzzard, combined their two labs to create Parkway Dental Lab, Inc. That partnership remains to this day. Steve excelled at his profession, and many dentists recognized his artistic talent. There are countless dental prosthetics in place up and down the valley that his hand has touched.

Steve and Jan were blessed with identical twin daughters on July 22, 1982. Brooke Merre was the first born, with Brandi Jean following five minutes later. Steve's daughters were the light of his life, and he provided them with constant love and support. In 2002 Brooke married Cleve Colson, and Steve quickly adopted him as his own. Steve's love for his family was his crowning achievement, and its strength will sustain them forever. Steve had a passion for photography and loved everything outdoors. His younger years were spent hunting, shooting, and fishing. As the years progressed he enjoyed many different sporting activities, such as boating, bow hunting, golfing, ATVs, and finally, motorcycling. Cleaning, polishing, and then hopping on his Yamaha seemed to bring him the most satisfaction. He was always planning the "next trip".

Steve is survived by is wife of 34 years, Jan, his daugther Brooke and son-in-law, Cleve Colson, daughter, Brandi, mother, Shirley, and mother-in-law, Gene King. He is also survived by his brother, Mike and his wife Kathy, sister Susan Heyer and her husband Chris. He has one niece, Melissa (Nate) May, and two nephews, Caleb and Holden. He has many aunts, uncles, and cousins as well.
Steve was preceded in death by his dad, Keith, and his grandparents.He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attended Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007 at the Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church with Reverend Gay Jeffery officiating. The family will meet with friends and relatives from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 at Hawker Funeral Home and again for one hour prior to services at the church.In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Jason Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 168 S. University Ave., Blackfoot, Idaho 83221.Military honors will be presented by the Stewart Hoover American Legion Post No. 23.


allens said...

Hi Mel,
I've been thinking about your family so much since my mom called me to tell me about your uncle Steve.

You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers, Miss.

Love You, Julie

Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry. Thank you for commenting on my blog --yes, I did know he died; my mom told me. How are the twins holding up? HOw are you doing?

I know it sounds lame, but I really wish I could be there for you.

Jeffrey said...

Melissa I am so sorry! He sounds like an amazing man, I am sure he will be in a good place!