Morgan ( picture page )
Morgan Wright Simpson, was born Oct. 6, 1930 in Pittsburg, KS.
I didn’t know Morgan very well when he was young, but I will relate some family history about him. As teenagers he and his brother Harold had paper routes, and worked delivering milk for a local dairy. Morgan did very well in High School, attending Gardena High School just south of Los Angeles, CA.. He was very good at basketball and played in the school band. In basketball he had the nickname of Hawkeye, because of his ability to hit the long shots. This however did not keep him form expressing a part of his character that would stick with him for life.
The story goes that Morgan was on the basketball team and one day the coach decided that Morgan, his best shooter, was not holding the ball the right way. Morgan, being Morgan, challenged the coach to a shooting match. Morgan won the match, no problem doing that, but the coach having lost face in front of the rest of the team, kicked Morgan off the team for the his senior year.
After high school Morgan attended El Camino Jr. College. He then joined the Navy and went to sea. After boot camp he was sent to Providence RI. and trained to be a Radar Operator. He was one of the first to crew a new ship, the USS Joyce, a destroyer escort. Their duty was picket duty off the east coast, then through the Panama Canal , stopping at Puerto Rico and Panama. In these two ports Morgan fell in love with the culture and the people. Morgan was always an excellent writer and sent home wonderful letters of his adventures.
When discharged form the Navy, Morgan came home to Southern California and started school again. He got a job, working as a pipefitter to help with expenses.
He enjoyed school very much, got his AA and started attending UCLA ,but working and going to school was very tough.
I do remember, this was about the time when
dad wanted to camping, I think near Ojai. So being a large family we needed
lots of stuff. Our car at the time was
the 41 Olds, and we had a utility trailer, with board sides and painted ugly
dark red. We packed everything you
could think of in the two vehicles, and looked like we just came form
Okalahoma. I was very nice of Morgan to see us off as we left, and he was in
such a great mood, when we left. On the way there we were surprised to notice
that everyone who passed us, waved and smiled, a lot more than would be
normal. We finally stopped for gas or something,
dad walked back to checkout the trailer, and on the tailgate of the trailer,
Morgan had nailed a sign that said “ OKLAHOMA OR BUST”. This was very embarrassing to all of
us. We swore we would someday get even,
but never got a good change.
It wasn’t long after that and I don’t know where he got the idea, but he decided to move to Mexico City and go to school there. He attended Mexico City College, majoring in International Relations, and teaching English at a school for girls. Morgan loved the culture and the Mexican people. While in Mexico he met a young lady and fell in love. Alicia Roldan became Mrs. Morgan W. Simpson. After getting his Bachelors Degree, they returned to California.
Morgan got a job with Lloyds of London Insurance, as an underwriter. His job was to access the liability of odd insurance policy requests and quote a rate for it. I remember him telling me about a call he got once, about a request for insurance for a golf tournament. It is not unusual for golf tournaments to give a car as a gift for a hole in one. They pay for it by buying insurance against someone getting a hole in one. The policy then pays for the car if a player makes a hole in one. Well Morgan got a call asking about a tournament for midgets and a hole-in-two! He also insured parades and wrote rain insurance for filming crews. Morgan worked hard and later changed companies, to Chubb & Sons Ins., again as an underwriter. Morgan and Alicia had son Morgan Jr., then Eric, Kirk and Nicole. During that time they bought a house in Whittier, Ca. Morgan continued this for several years and then, out of the blue he got the idea to move to Alaska.
Morgan and Morgan Jr. loaded up a VW van in late fall and took off for Alaska. When they got to Alaska it was cold, but they hung in there. Morgan got a job at a local insurance agency and started to settle in. Morgan started doing real estate appraisals and soon quit insurance and started his own appraisal company, Morgan & Morgan. Alicia and the other kids join them there. The business did very well for several years before the economy turned bad in Alaska.
time he decided to move to Parker, AZ. where many of his brothers and sisters
lived. In Parker he started working for
the local newspaper, covering the local sporting events. He enjoyed writing and expanded to other
articles about the area and history of the area. At one time he even ran for
County Auditor, but failed to get enough votes. He went on to write about his
and his brother’s love of music.
Morgan became part of a lot of
people’s lives in Parker. We lost him
to a fire in his trailer Jan. 22, 1996.
Morgan was very intelligent and very interested in life and people, a
great gamer, golfer, and very interesting person. Morgan is survived by Alicia, Morgan Jr., Eric, Kirk, and Nicole. We’ll miss him a lot.