Whispered Words of Wisdom from My Mom at Her Memorial Service
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Sun City, Arizona
Good Morning! I am David Simpson, Pat’s oldest (perhaps Prodigal ) son sometimes called “David D.” by her. A Professor of Psychology for the past 35 years, I am wont to speak for 50 minutes or to twitter for 140 characters, but here, as she would wish, I shall be uncharacteristically brief.
My mother was a life-long Teacher. She taught me how to read. As soon as I learned how to read, I tried to teach Baby Bruce. Even today I love reading and teaching.
Mom taught me about life and about death and how to pray the 18th century Children’s prayer (personalized version):
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
God bless Mommie and Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma
Connie Sue and David and Brucie and Queenie
And EVERY BODY!!!!! Amen
My mother was both simple and complex. She was a lady —prim and proper. She was good-humored, reflective, energetic, slim and vivacious. She loved children and music and clowns and cows and rainbows and especially took pride in her own children— respecting, accepting, treasuring, and nourishing their differences. Mom was a worrier—especially about the well-being of her guests. I do not doubt that she is worried right now about this service and that the guests feel welcome.
Mom leaves me with these whispered words of wisdom:
- Don’t worry about doing THE Right Thing, but do A right thing.
- Live, Love, Learn, and ——Give.
- Be Good (for Goodness’ Sake).
- Be Nice to your Brother and Sister.
- Be Patient.
- Be Kind
- Be Giving.
- Be Forgiving.
- Be of Good Cheer.
- Be You.
Obituary: Patricia Ann Stover (Simpson) Swinger
(Thanks to Sister Connie Sue and Brother Bruce for writing this).
February 2, 1924–April 18, 2014/ Sun City, AZ
Born in Robinson, Illinois to Nelson T. and Beulah Copley Stover, she had two siblings: Robert Nelson Stover and James Copley Stover. Her summers were spent at Interlochen, a world-renown music school/camp where she studied a number of instruments, including flute, piano, and organ. Her life centered around her family, her faith, and her music—not necessarily in that order.
After graduating from Robinson High School, she attended Oberlin College in Ohio where she met and later married Frank C. Simpson of Cleveland, OH. Frank was in the United States Navy, and soon after they were married June 30, 1945, she moved to FL to be close to him. Three children were born to them: Connie Sue (born in 1946), David Durell (born in 1949), and Bruce Copley (born in 1953). Pat was a stay-at-home-mom until Bruce entered kindergarten; she then began a teaching career in Ohio, and completed her student teaching and her Bachelor’s Degree through Kent State University in Ohio before returning to the Buffalo area to teach at The Park School for a number of years.
Frank’s job with General Electric and later with several steel companies in Niles, OH, and N. Tonawanda, NY, led to numerous family moves, and when Bruce was to enter the 9th grade, the Frank, Pat, and Bruce finally settled in Williamsville, NY near Buffalo, NY. Pat was involved in church music, church activities, teaching activities, and, of course, school activities of Bruce as he moved through high school. Frank died in New York in 2001.
In the meantime, Pat had moved to Sun City, AZ where she renewed acquaintance with Paul Swinger whom she married in 1994. Ironically, they had attended all twelve years of school together in Robinson, IL. Small world….Paul’s family consisted of two daughters– Vicki (and Leon) Midgett and Paula (and Randy) Britt, and their daughters and grandchildren.
Throughout her life, Pat maintained her interest in music, specifically the organ and the piano. She continued to take lessons throughout her life and was the organist and director of several choirs as well as mastering the hand bells of Paul’s church in Sun City. She traveled to various churches in Europe as a result of her membership in the American Guild of Organists, which regularly traveled overseas; she was able to play the European church organs of composers such as Bach, Handel, Beethoven, etc. She and Paul did extensive traveling after they married: Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe were some of their adventures. Pat continued with her music playing at Royal Oaks and elsewhere until macular degeneration curtailed that activity.
After she moved to Royal Oaks in Sun City, she took up golf and made many friends through that activity. She continued to golf throughout her life–and was quite good at it, too, and modestly had trophies to prove it. Part of an octogenarian golf team, she will be missed by her golfing buddies.
In February, Pat celebrated her 90th birthday with all three of her children and her friends in attendance. On April 18, 2014, she died peacefully at home in the company of family members. Services will be held in Bellevue Heights Baptist Church at 11:00 am the morning of May 17, 2014; and interment will be next to husband Paul Swinger (who died in 2008) in the columbarium of Bellevue Heights Baptist Church, a church where she was active in church activities from volunteering for the annual Rose Festival to serving on various church committees and participating in Bible studies and activities involving numerous churches in the Sun City area.
In addition to her children Connie Sue (and Keith), David (and Debbie) and Bruce (Kai) and many special friends, Pat will be missed by her grandchildren Andrew (and Misty Bowman and their two boys Nicholas and Daniel) of Hinwil, Switzerland; Blaise Connor Simpson of Frederick, MD; and Lisa (and Christopher Miller and their son Bryan) of Bucyrus, OH.