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William Frederick Simpson Jr.
January 24, 1945 ~ November 1, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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William Frederick Simpson, Jr. was born in Kinston, NC on January 24, 1945 to William F. Simpson, Sr. and Geraldine S. Simpson.
After graduating from Pink Hill High School in 1963 he attended the UNC-Chapel Hill graduating in 1967. Shortly thereafter he joined the United States Marine Corps and reported to Quantico, VA for Officers Candidate School.
Upon completion of OCS & TBS, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division headquartered in Dong Ha, Vietnam. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines as a rifle company platoon commander with “Mike” Company and subsequently with “Lima” Company.
While serving in Vietnam, he received the following decorations: Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, USMC Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device, Vietnamese Service Medal with three stars, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm and frame.
Upon completion of his tour of duty in Vietnam he was assigned to “Charlie” Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division and stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina as Executive Officer. He then was deployed to the Mediterranean with Battalion Landing Team 1/8 for a period of six months. While deployed he was made Company Commander of “Charlie” Company and served in that capacity until he was released from active duty in December 1970 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Corps with the rank of Captain on October 9, 1974.
Fred, as lovingly known to most, attended Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1972 and graduated with his J.D. degree in February 1975. Following in the footsteps of his father, he returned to Lenoir County after graduation to open his own law practice. He practiced law in Lenoir County and surrounding areas for over 40 years before retiring in 2021.
In 1981, Fred married Joan (Reynolds) Simpson, also from Lenoir County. Together, they raised two children whom they love dearly. Fred was active in his community serving in the Masons, as part of St Johns Lodge No. 4, and the Lenoir County Shrine Club. He was well known for his passion for the great outdoors, particularly fishing and hunting, and sitting around the country store with his friends just telling tall tales.
The last five months have been another battle in Fred’s life, one that no one could have foreseen. As with any trial before, he fought courageously, wanting nothing more than to come home. On the eve of November 1, 2023, the trumpets sounded and God called His warrior to His home, and like a good Marine, he answered that call and he is now walking in the Lord’s Army.
Fred was preceded in death by his father WIlliam Frederick Simpson, Sr. of Pink Hill, his mother Geraldine Stroud Simpson King of Pink Hill, and nephew Colbey Pharr of Pittsboro.
Fred is survived by wife, Joan Reynolds Simpson, of the home; son William Frederick Simpson, III “Trey” (Heather) of Kinston; daughter Wendy Morris Riggs (Eddie) of Kinston; grandchildren Ava and Jackson Simpson of Kinston, Caroline McCoy (Chris), Katherine Wood (Tyler), and Rachel Riggs all of Cove City; and great-grandchildren Alyssa McCoy, Madison Wood, and Jennifer Wood all of Cove City; siblings Annette Taylor of New Bern, Terry Simpson of Raleigh, Russ Simpson (Carol) of Greensboro, Beverly Pharr (Bruce) of Pittsboro; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Service will be held at Pink Hill Funeral Home, 1056 N NC Highway 11, Pink Hill, NC 28572 at 3:00 pm on Sunday, November 5, 2023 with Reverend Hank Jarman officiating. Graveside services with military honors will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park, 985 N NC Highway 11, Pink Hill, NC 28572 and visitation will follow at the graveside. Memorial contributions may be made to either the Vietnam Veterans of America or to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans).