JAMES WILLIAM "BILLY" SIMPKINS
James William “Billy” Simpkins, 82, beloved husband of 55 years to Mary Alice Owens Simpkins, peacefully entered into his eternal rest Tuesday morning, February 21, 2017, at his residence at Savannah Square Personal Care Home in Blythe. Funeral services with full military honors will be held in the James Funeral Home Chapel at 3:00 PM, Friday afternoon, February 24, 2017 with Dr. Earl Richards and Chaplain Finley Limehouse officiating. Interment will follow in the Blythe United Methodist Church cemetery.
One of six children born to the late Sallie Kate Bunn Simpkins and the late J.Otis Simpkins, Billy was a native of Forsythe but also lived in Mobile AL and Miami FL. A true patriot, he joined the army at the age of 22 and served two tours in Vietnam, receiving several medals including the Silver and Bronze Stars. He retired from the military as a Staff Sergeant in Tactical Communication with over 20 years of service. He then was a Captain with Sizemore Security, retiring with 28 years of service. Billy enjoyed being outside in the peaceful nature, fishing, playing card and board games, especially word search puzzles, cooking and baking. He was very artistic and expressed himself through his paintings. It has been said that he could turn the world on with his smile. Even though he was a quiet, mild-mannered, meek person, Billy had a great sense of humor and never met a stranger—he had a way of making people feel comfortable and safe. Beyond all else, he absolutely adored his wife and loved his family. His canine buddies, Mikey and Josh, brought much laughter and joy to his life. A loving husband, dedicated family man and loyal friend, Billy was a soldier for his country and for his Lord. He has now left this foreign land and gone home to Glory.
Billy was also preceded in death by three siblings, Robert Simpkins, Frank Simpkins, and Rose Ivey. Other survivors include his two sisters, Ann Korby (Russell) of Allouez MI, and Lynda Sarkisian (Don) of Seneca SC; sister-in-law, Joann Mullins (Wayne) of Greenville AL; a special niece who was like a daughter, Roseann Fiest (Rick) of Waynesboro; special friends, Bert Johnson, Jerry and Chuck Reeves, Anita Long, Ondell Lay, Charles Jaillette and Suzanne St. Pierre; and several nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be the Army Honor Guard.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks and gratitude for their love and excellent, loving care to the staff at Savannah Square Personal Care Home and to Ronny Voss, Leigh Alexander and other staff of Regency Hospice.
The family will receive friends at James Funeral Home from 1:00 – 3:00 PM Friday afternoon, February 24, 2017, prior to the funeral services.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that place at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss—
Ah, yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much—
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seems all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now—He set me free!