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“I always smile when I think of of you, Don. I just know you are enjoying a dinner with Bunny, having a chat with Don Cornelius and getting to listen...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Tony Molinaro - Denver, CO

“Don you will be missed by many people but your spirit lives on forever. ”
2 of 5 | Posted by: Patty Villeneuve - Solon, OH

“Thinking of Don tonight and have a glass or two to him and celebrating his life and all the memories he has left for everyone to smile and chuckle to...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Chris D'Alessandro - IL - Friend

“So sorry he had to leave so soon.I know he loved dogs, he always was happy to see all my kids and viceverca ”
4 of 5 | Posted by: Jerry Krebsbach (Minpin Rancher) - WI

In Don's honor we just visited Maker's Mark! “Cheers Don! It's been too many years, but we apparently share a passion for Maker's. I'm sure you toasted me back! Keep laughing my friend. ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Michelle Reiter - Homer Glen, IL


Donald Fraser Simpson II, 48, passed away peacefully Wednesday March 14, 2018 at home. It was the only time he ever did anything peacefully, as Don was so full of life and humor and love it spilled out of him everywhere he went. He was loved by everyone he allowed into his orbit.
Don started his life in Naperville, IL, where he was born to Kay and Don Simpson. He wasn't sure about the addition of Faith a few years later, but quickly grew to love and enjoy his "baby" sister. He especially enjoyed texting nostalgic food pictures to Faith.
He spent his childhood in many places -- Illinois, St. Louis, Massachusetts, Michigan, Indiana, San Antonio -- only to settle back in Naperville in 1980 where he enjoyed his mom's wonderful home cooked meals and his dad's incredible sense of humor. He met his brothers, "the boys", there, and despite years of mischief that would have made the guys from Animal House blush, somehow none of them ended up in jail. The fun did not stop when they graduated from Naperville Central High School in 1987, as Donnie and "the boys" would continue their tradition of yearly ski trips indefinitely. Don plans to continue attending ski trips so they better not forget the Maker's Mark.
After graduating from the University of Illinois – Chicago in 1993 with a major in Nightlife, and accidentally learning more than he ever wanted to know about graphic design, Donnie tired of the Windy City and decided to move somewhere new and put his newfound skills to use. In 1995 Bart (one of "the boys") convinced him to move to Denver, Colorado. Luckily this turned out much better than some of Bart and Donnie's other exploits.
Donnie called Denver home for the next 21 years. He explored the city, the mountains, the music and the food. Don created a life full of friends and family, skiing, hiking, biking, music, traveling and above all, laughter. People gravitated to Donnie because he made them feel good, feel important, and laugh. He could laugh at anything – his busted knees, his concussions, his dogs (Harold and Chaka and Potter), his hair, hipsters, non-hipsters, vegan food, movies – the more irreverent or goofy, the better.
In 2008 one more person entered Donnie's orbit, his future wife, Hilary.
When they married in the Bahamas in 2012, Don wasn't even nervous about the wedding. He was more worried about learning to scuba dive later that week. The wedding was perfect: small, low-key, with copious amounts of alcohol and food and laughter and love – and one uninvited octopus!
Don put his own spin on married life like he did everything else. He became a father to Hilary's son Denny without trying to be his dad; he was a loving and supportive husband to Hilary always, and he still found ways to make everyone laugh.
In 2016 Donnie and Hilary decided a new adventure was in order and they sold their Denver homes. Hilary sold everything else (even Don's beloved TV), and even though neither had ever so much as vacationed in a camper before, they bought one and headed out on the trip of a lifetime. Twelve months, 26 states, 14 national parks, 1 puppy (Waffle), and endless truck stops became an unforgettable, incredible, life-changing journey.
Don and Hilary chose Kent, Ohio as their new home. In typical Don Simpson fashion, they did this in a unique way, buying a fixer-upper house at auction, sight unseen, and settling into their new community. In the 6 months Donnie spent in Kent he impacted the lives of countless others, invoking that irreverence and goofiness that was so unquestionably Don.
Don lived life fully, with humor, charm, and love, and he had the biggest heart. He loved deeply, and those he loved knew how much he cared. We were blessed to have Donnie in our lives and we know he's somewhere drinking a Miller High Life, eating Portillo's and Pompei, listening to 70s music, cracking slightly inappropriate jokes and watching to make sure we keep laughing.
Don left behind many who loved him, including his wife Hilary Richardson and (step)son Denny, parents Don and Kay Simpson, sister Faith Simpson Cheriel (Ricardo), nephews Alex, Nate, Owen, Adam, and Ryan, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends who had become family.
Memorial services will be held in Kent, Ohio and Denver, Colorado.
Ironically, although Donnie had a green thumb, he also had serious allergies and couldn't handle a room full of flowers. To honor Don, in lieu of flowers, donate to your local animal shelter in his name, enjoy some good food and good booze with friends, and tell your favorite Don story. He'd like that.