Mary Ellen Simpson, known as Ellen, unexpectedly passed away in her sleep on July 10, 2020, in Spring Park, Minn., at the age of 95. Despite the aches and pains that come with that age, she lived independently, remained active, and was mentally sharp. Her favorite activities included going on daily walks to visit her friends, playing bridge, and dining out frequently with her sons and their families.
Ellen was born in Gillespie, Ill., on May 1, 1925, to Lillian Dale Wyatt and James Loy Bowman, DDS. She earned a B.S. in nursing from Washington University in St. Louis and was a registered nurse. She married Dr. Robert (Bob) Simpson in Woodstock on Feb. 11, 1950, and they made Woodstock their home. Bob was a Woodstock native, president of Woodstock High School Class of 1944, and co-founder of the Kishwaukee Valley Medical Clinic.
Once her three sons were all in school, Ellen reengaged in nursing as a school nurse for Olson Elementary and Junior High School. She was an avid bridge player, frequently played golf with friends at the Woodstock Country Club, and volunteered at the Woodstock Memorial Hospital Gift and Thrift Shop. After two of her sons moved to Minneapolis, Ellen and Bob joined them, leaving Woodstock in 2005.
To escape the cold winters, Ellen and Bob often spent the month of February on Maui. The photo was taken on her last trip there, when she hosted the entire extended family for two weeks. She is 85 years old in the photo.
Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her brother, Jim; and her sister, Betty. She is survived by her sons, Dan (Laura) of Danville, Calif., Ross (Kathy) of Shorewood, Minn., and Kurt (Suzanna) of Minnetonka, Minn.; four grandchildren; and a granddaughter-in-law.
Ellen will be greatly missed. A memorial service and burial will be private. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made in Ellen’s name to the Woodstock Public Library, 414 W. Judd St. Woodstock, IL 60098 or woodstockpubliclibrary.org.