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Alumni News: Class Years 1970-1979

Joe Simpkins ('74) Passes Away

Tuesday, January 28, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Joseph Ray Simpkins Jr.
Born February 7, 1952, and died January 3, 2020, in Nashville, TN

Joe Simpkins loved people and he loved life. He loved his family – the ones gone before him and the ones left behind. He loved his friends, near and far, and was quick to make them. He could talk to anybody and often did. He found satisfaction in working hard from a young age, earning money to buy his first car long before he was old enough to drive it. He worked a full-time job during college to pay his way, graduating from Belmont University in 1974. He was a loyal supporter of their music school and the basketball team. Go Bruins! He valued the life given to him by God and had a very strong will to live. He conquered colon cancer in 1993, a heart attack in 2009, and battled valiantly through Alzheimer’s Disease for over 6 years. At one point in his life he was a marathon runner and he carried that same determination and endurance through his final days.

Joe leaves behind his daughter Tiffany, who shares his soft, loving heart; his daughter Jenna, who shares his quick laughter and sense of humor; and his son Jordan, who shares his sense of order and family loyalty. He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Ray Simpkins, Sr. and Virginia Walker Simpkins. Joe is survived by his wife of 25 years, April Messick Simpkins; daughter, Tiffany Simpkins (Noah Darling); daughter, Jenna Hunter (Rodd); son, Jordan Simpkins; grandchildren, Luna and Lux Darling, Everett and Elenore Hunter; sisters, Patricia Howeth, Virginia Degerberg (George), and Tammy Carney; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the incredible staff and care partners of Abe’s Garden Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center of Excellence, where he was a resident for 3 and ½ years, and Alive Hospice for their loving and supportive care for Joe and the family in his last days. Memorial contributions may be made to either organization or to Belmont University School of Music Scholarships. If you wish to honor Joe, live your life with courage, love your people faithfully, take the trip, ask the question, and order the banana pudding.

West Harpeth Funeral Home and Crematory

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