The Life of Donald Fletcher Simpson Sr.
Donald F. Simpson, Sr. (Age 87)
On May 14, 2018, Donald Simpson passed peacefully in his Alexandria home with family by his side. Donald was the type of man many aspire to be: hard-working, dedicated, compassionate, and humble. His contributions to the Northern Virginia and Alexandria area were never done with fanfare because Donald preferred to give quietly. He was a benefactor who preferred to give back to the community out of the goodness of his heart, never to receive an accolade.
Donald was a man of Alexandria. The son of Clarence and Dorothy Simpson, he grew up in the city so it’s no wonder that giving back and supporting the community were part of his DNA. He wanted to see other people succeed and it was important that everyone had an opportunity to do so.
Mr. Simpson graduated from George Washington High School and went on to attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Following his time in Blacksburg, Virginia, he served two years as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army during the Korean conflict.
Upon returning home from duty, Mr. Simpson continued serving, but this time it was in the city of Alexandria. During his career spanning 65 years, he led the construction of over 300 projects throughout Northern Virginia and the Washington Metropolitan area. Mr. Simpson took great pride in his dedication to improving the Alexandria City school system. The Simpson family is one of the original founders of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA) and since 1984 Mr. Simpson led efforts to provide scholarships to T.C. Williams students.
Donald was a family-man, so it only made sense that he began his career working with his father and uncle in the family business: Eugene Simpson & Brother, Inc. After the firm’s acquisition, Mr. Simpson left the contracting business to start Simpson Development Co., Inc., a full service real estate development firm. Since its inception, he served as Chairman of the firm’s development and leasing activities.
Donald led development projects at what have become staples in the Alexandria community including INOVA Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria City Hall, Quantico Marine Base, George Washington Masonic Temple, Gadsby’s Tavern, Christ Church, and the waterfront Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Mr. Simpson’s passion and pride in his community were obvious by his involvement in an array of civic organizations. He served as a member, director, or president for organizations including the Rotary Club of Alexandria, SunTrust Bank, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, Goodwin House, Inc., Alexandria Salvation Army, and Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. In 2008, the Simpson Family was awarded the First Annual Legacy of Giving Award.
In addition to spending time with his family, Donald enjoyed playing tennis with friends and visiting his Bay house in the Northern Neck. His quest for adventure brought him on cycling treks throughout the country and overseas and skiing trips in Colorado.
Mr. Simpson is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Lynne, his sister Sarah Fortney (Melvin), his three children, Gayle, Dorothy Ellen, and Don Jr. (Stacey), and his seven grandsons, Eric and Matt Funkhouser, Chris, Austin, and Davis Beveridge, and Cole and Max Simpson. He was preceded in death by his sister Jean and son David.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Thursday, May 24, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at 1608 Russell Rd, Alexandria, VA 22301, followed by a reception from 2:00 to 4 p.m. at Belle Haven Country Club at 6023 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA 22307.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Capital Caring: 5845 Richmond Highway, Suite 150, Alexandria, VA 22303 or Goodwin House Alexandria: 4800 Fillmore Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311.
Donations may be made to:
Capital Caring Hospice Alexandria
5845 Richmond Highway, Suite 150, Alexandria VA 22303
Goodwin House Alexandria
4800 Fillmore Avenue, Alexandria VA 22311
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