April 2, 1921 – February 13, 2011
Mary Simpson, a highly respected businesswoman and rancher in the Grand Valley north west of Cochrane, Alberta, passed away peacefully at her ranch on February 13, 2011 with members of her family at her side. Mary was predeceased by her husband, Jack Simpson (1984), with whom she started the Simpson Ranch. Born in Leicestershire, England, Mary (Bass) moved with her family to Gibbons, Alberta, in 1930. An exceptionally intelligent and well-read young woman, Mary completed high school in Edmonton and studied mathematics and sciences at the University of Alberta.
She met Jack, a U of A engineering graduate, at the beginning of the war and their romance continued to their marriage in 1945. Mary and Jack moved to Calgary in 1947, started a family, and expanded the life partnership through Jack’s work with Burns and Dutton Concrete and Construction Company Limited. B&D ultimately ended under the control of Jack Simpson and the name was changed to CANA Construction. In 1956, Jack and Mary made a huge leap of faith and created Simpson Ranching to the north west of Cochrane. Throughout their years together, Mary and Jack operated as team, supporting each other, planning ahead and jointly making the sacrifices that would lead to success. Throughout the world, Mary’s straightforward personality earned her the admiration of a diverse range of people, from South American generals to the Cochrane ranch hands. “The most important thing is to be yourself,” she frequently replied when asked how she attracted so many friends.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Barbara Kerr (Barney) of the Bahamas, and her son, John Simpson (Jollean Hancen) of Cochrane. She is also survived by six grandchildren Tara McTaggart (Neil), Kelly Kerr, Barbara Von Hahn (Chad), Patrick Kerr, Christie Simpson (Jeremy Van Staalduine) and Luke Simpson, four great-grandchildren, and brother, Russell Bass (Dorothy). Mary was predeceased by her brother, John Bass and his wife Muriel. Mary asked that a Celebration of Life be held when the grass is green. You may forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers if friends wish, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Children’s Hospital Aid Society (CHAS) Box 900, Calgary, AB T2P 2M7 www.chascalgary.ca .
In living memory of Mary Simpson, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane Funeral Home, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE. Telephone: (403) 932-4740.Print This Obituary & Condolences