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William G. Simpkins
June 16, 1925—February 8, 2022
Bill was born in Pekin, Illinois the sixth child of John and Mary Simpkins. His parents, siblings Steve, Lucetta, John, Robert, and Joe, preceded him in death. He was also predeceased by his wife Mary Ruth and son, Michael. Survived by children: Steve Simpkins, MaryJane Simpkins (Anthony Elliott),and Susie Simpkins, daugher-in law Helen, granddaughter Kathryn Cummins (Cade) and great grandchildren Mason and Madison.
Bill grew up in Dana IL, and graduated from Dana High School in 1943. He started college at Eureka but would not complete his degree until after his service in the Air Force, where he served in both WW II and the Korean War. Bill earned a B.A. from Eureka College and he and Mary Ruth began working in Crete-Monee Dist. 201U where he taught U.S. History until his retirement in the late 1980's.
Bill was a natural as a teacher, bringing a confident, self-assured presence together with a wealth of knowledge and a caring heart to the classes he taught over a period of over 30 years. He had the respect of students, administrators and his fellow teachers. For a number of years he coached junior varsity basketball at the high school and established friendships with many of his players that continued after graduation.
Bill loved sports, as a spectator and as an enthusiastic participant. He played baseball in high school, in his time in the service and later he played senior softball. In 1977 he began running and eventually ran several marathons. He had played golf earlier in his life and then returned to it after he retired. He “shot his age” many times, even into his 90s. Swimming also became a big part of his life in his later years, swimming laps early in the mornings at a nearby pool.
Bill was also a skilled carpenter, from building the home in Monee to creating furniture of craftsman quality in his garage. He often used these same skills to help friends and neighbors. He was also very proud of the lifetime beautification award for his home on Westgate.
As a veteran Bill was a patriot in the best sense of that word. and relished the Honor Flight he was able to be a part of in 2010.
Bill was beloved by family and friends alike. He loved his family and adored being part of his great- grand children's lives. He was loyal, generous, a great listener as well as a great story-teller. A keen sense of humor enabled him to both laugh at himself and to enjoy the humor of others. He loved socializing with friends and was the one toward whom people gravitated at any event.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Honor Flight Chicago or Disabled American Veterans.