Dennis Elvin Simpson
May 21, 1939 – June 28, 2023
Dennis E. Simpson passed away in his Chester home on June 28, 2023, at the age of 84, with his family by his side.
Dennis was born on May 21, 1939, in Mayfield, CA. His family moved to a 500-acre timber ranch in Railroad Flat, CA in the mid 1940s and it was here that Dennis was raised and spent his formative years. Growing up and working on the ranch played huge role in shaping Dennis’s character and the land found a way to imprint into the very fibers of his being. The ranch is still in Simpson ownership to this day and remains a special, sacred place to the family.
Dennis graduated from Calaveras High School in 1958 then married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Kuntz, the following year in 1959. During that same year they moved to Redding, CA where he worked at the Calaveras Cement Company. Dennis and Nancy had two sons, Leroy born in 1961 and Greg in 1962.
In 1970 Dennis left the cement company to take a sales job with Barnett Supply. Dennis and Nancy separated in 1974. He married his second wife, Linda McCaleb, in 1976. They had one daughter, Tiffanie Simpson, born in 1978. Dennis and Linda separated in 1980.
Dennis moved to Chester, CA in 1983 where he began working for Collins Pine Company as a purchasing agent and supervisor. Dennis married his third wife, Sharon Hunter, in 1984 and became a stepfather to her two boys, Steven & Daniel. In 1985 he began building his dream home in Chester, where he would live the rest of his life. Dennis left Collins Pine in 1995 to work with Holt Logging driving truck and as a machine operator. Dennis and Sharon separated in 1996.
In 1997 Dennis began dating Marie White. While they were never officially married, Dennis and Marie were devoted to each other and remained committed until his passing. Dennis always considered Marie’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren among his own. The Simpsons want to acknowledge and thank the O’Kelleys and the Whites for loving him the way they did; you were his family too.
In 2019 Dennis started slowly cutting back on work but never officially retired (a fact that those who know him well will not find surprising). He had an ironclad work ethic and found it difficult to turn that off in his later years. Well into his 70s, Dennis was still driving trucks, hauling logs, running various heavy equipment associated with logging, and on-call to operate water trucks to help fight forest fires across the state of California.
Dennis was not a big man in stature, but he had a very large presence. He was known as a hardworking, simple man with a quick grin and a firm handshake. His trademark mustache made him easy to spot in a crowd. He was kind and generous, especially with his time and acts of service. He was an avid outdoorsman and found joy in hiking, hunting, camping, horse riding, and ATV-ing. He was a gifted home baker and canner famous for his pies, cookies, quick breads, and jams. He was a gregarious storyteller keen to share the tall tales of his life. He had an adventurous spirit and loved to try new things, explore, and travel but no matter where his travels took him, his happy place was always being at and working on the family ranch in Railroad Flat. Spending time with his family and friends was paramount to Dennis; he loved them fiercely and with his whole heart. Dennis meant a lot of things to a lot of people and is dearly missed. He may be gone but will remain forever in our hearts.
Dennis is survived by his partner Marie White; his children Leroy Simpson (children Sofia, Nicolas, and Noella), Greg Simpson (wife Kim and children Kasie [husband Joe, children River and Catalina] Tara Simpson, and Kyle Simpson [wife Jessica, children Laurel, Mason, and Matthew]), and Tiffanie Simpson (husband Joey Weber); and his niece and nephew Barbara Wells and Kenneth Wells. Dennis was proceeded in death by his parents Llyod and Marjorie Simpson; his siblings Joanne Wells, Russell Simpson, and David Simpson; and his nephew Gerald Wells.
A Celebration of Life and potluck will be held for Dennis on August 19 from 1-4pm at the Almanor Recreation Center.