Originally printed on November 22, 2017 in the North Somerset Times.
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JOHN DOUGLAS STEVENS SIMPSON Nailsea resident John Douglas Stevens Simpson was born on June 2nd 1926, the youngest of six children. His parents came from the tiny island of Stroma, just off John o' Groats, and settled in Chelsea, London, where they raised their family. John was awarded a London County Council scholarship, and in 1942 achieved a top grade in his School Certificate. He worked in banking before being called up in 1945, becoming a Corporal and Cipher Operator High Grade in the Royal Signals, with postings including Sudan and Egypt. He held the 1939-45 War Medal and was a member of the British Legion. During his post-war insurance career, he achieved Chartered Insurance Institute qualifications. In 1953 he married Joan Monckton, and in 1975, when Century Life were taken over by Phoenix, the couple moved to Bristol and made their home in Nailsea. The couple treasured their cruises and holidays abroad. Joan's passion was the garden, and John was her willing assistant. Their fiftieth anniversary was celebrated with family and friends at an event staged by the Somerset and West Music Hall Society, of which they were members. When Joan passed away in 2004, John missed her tremendously. He made regular donations to Cancer Research UK in her memory and enjoyed visiting their local shop, where he would leave a generous cheque. John remained independent but was always pleased to accept the hospitality of friends and neighbours. He met up with ex-colleagues at pensioners' lunches and took part in British Legion Christmas gatherings. He enjoyed the company, welcome and good food he found at pensioners' Wednesday lunches, organised by the Methodist Church at the Wesley Hall. He greatly appreciated this enrichment to his later years; donations were collected at his funeral to support these lunches in the future. On several occasions in recent years, John accompanied nephews and nieces on visits to the north of Scotland and Stroma, revisiting the remains of the houses where his parents grew up and seeing once again the lighthouse he recalled seeing from his bedroom window on childhood visits. John passed away peacefully, at the age of 91, on November 14th 2017 at Bristol Royal Infirmary. He is survived by nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He will be remembered by all as an honest, decent and good-natured man whose marriage was an inspiration to others.

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