Donald R. Simpson, 87, a lifelong dairy farmer of Sutton, VT and Belleview, Florida died on December 23, 2022 in Belleview, Florida with his loving wife, Susan by his side.
Donald was born on March 17, 1935 in Wheelock, VT, the son of Guy and Viola (Sherburne) Simpson. He was the second born of five children, with brothers, Robert, Bernard and Steve predeceasing him. He is survived by his sister Nancy (Gordon) Vincent.
Donald graduated from Lyndon Institute in 1953. During his four years as a student athlete at Lyndon Institute, Donald discovered his love of football. This passion grew to be a family bond for four generations. There was never a Simpson family gathering that didn’t include a casual game of touch football, animated discussions around game play, strategies and demonstrations of the proper lineman stance and footwork.
Upon graduating high school, Donald enlisted in the United States Army, where he served his country as a Signal Corp Operator in France.
In 1954 Donald married his high school sweetheart, Connie Elliott. Together, in 1958, they bought what is now the Don-Sim Farm, where they made an honest living, working the land they loved. Donald always said that he felt he and Connie were chosen to be farmers; a responsibility they deeply respected. In 1982, they formed the Don-Sim Farm Partnership with their children and spouses: Tim and Dianna, Bruce and Allison, Karla and Mark and John and Danielle. From there the family grew… and so did the farm, from the original farm which consisted of 385 acres and 30 cows to three farms, 2000 acres and a herd of 1500 cows. As the farm expanded, so did Donald’s passion for the “Registered” Holstein cow. The Don-Sim Farm worked hard to earn the reputation of a breeder known for their top end genetics, chartering a mission of always breeding for a better cow. The Don-Sim Farm reached a milestone achievement of a herd classification score where more than 50% of the herd received a score of Very Good or Excellent. In 1989, the partnership built one of the first “rotary parlors” in New England, diversifying to large-scale milk production, investing in modernization and efficiency, and understanding that expansion was necessary to support the growing family.
In 1996 Donald lost Connie, his dear wife of 42 years. Later, Donald was lucky to find a loving companion in Susan Magill Forrest. He and Susan married and the Simpson family grew even more, with the addition of Susan and her children and grandchildren. Donald and Sue enjoyed wintering in Florida, attending horse events, bluegrass festivals, and spending lots of time with family and friends.
As time progressed and Papa slowed down, he was able to take time to attend many sporting events to watch his grandchildren and great grandchildren, football being very close to his heart. Even this fall, you would see Donald and Sue parked on the LI campus, by the alumni office, getting in as many football games as he could. At this fall’s St.J vs L.I. game, Donald had six great grandsons playing, and three playing for the Jr. Vikings.
Donald truly loved watching the family show cattle, whether it was at local county fairs, Eastern States Expo in Massachusetts, or live streaming from the World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI. Donald would always call after the show with words of support and encouragement. He especially enjoyed seeing the great grandchildren with their younger calves.
Donald had a strong sense for serving his community. He was an active member of the Sutton Baptist Church, VT Holstein Association, New England Holstein Association, and a trustee at Lyndon Institute. Donald had many passions: hunting, fishing, sugaring, lobster feeds, family reunions, mowing hay, playing cards and traveling. He was an avid reader and enjoyed studying the Bible. He worked hard and enjoyed life, and at the center of his heart was his family and his Church.
Donald was predeceased by his infant daughter, Susan, his wife Connie, his sons, John and Bruce, infant great grandsons, Colin and Waylon Simpson and great granddaughter Prezlie Newland.
Donald is survived by his wife, Susan; son, Timothy and wife Dianna; daughter, Karla and husband Mark Barrett; stepson Charlie Forrest, wife Erin and stepdaughter Julie Blake; Grandchildren, Peggy and Larry, Craig and Kirsten, Jennifer and Dana, Becky and Derrick, Ryan and Marci, Jacob and Tina, Kristal and Ryan, Erin and Brandon, Bethany and Seth, Jessica and Philip, Cody and Tabatha, Jaclyn and Brandon, Amanda and Paul, Stephanie and Bradley, Melissa and Kevin, Josh and Mary, Katelin, Taylor and Bailey; Great grandchildren: Caleb, Travis, Reegan, Kelleigh, Ashleigh, Tyler, Hunter, Davis, Dawson. Preston, Grayson, Courteney, Colby, Wyatt, Kendalyn, Emma, Molly their father Dan, Lawren, McKenzie, Briar, Holden, Sawyer, Abel, Grant, Jerzie, Lacey, Scarlett, Jeremiah, Dillan, Payton, David, Kaylin, Keira, Brayden, Harper, Ava, Natalie, Kinley, Ellie, Rogan, Hadley, Wyatt and Noah. Donald enjoyed visits and time spent with several nieces and nephews.
A service will be held at the Sutton Baptist Church, Saturday January 21st at 11:00 am with Pastor Mark Hendricks officiating. Visiting hours will be at Guibord-Pearsons Funeral Home, 15 Main Street, Lyndonville, VT on January 20th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. A spring burial service date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to: Lyndon Institute Football, P.O. Box 127 Lyndon Center, VT 05850 Or Sutton Baptist Church, 36 Church St. Sutton, VT 05867.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.guibordfh.com