William Arizona Simson was born in Phoenix, Ariz. Aug. 19, 1927 and died at his home in Catalina, Ariz. Aug. 2, 2007. He was a second generation Arizonan. His father was one of the first volunteer firefighters and his grandfather was one of the first fire chiefs in Phoenix.
Mr. Simson served in the Army at the end of World War II as an information and education specialist. His interest in military ships and aircraft was a continuing source of study and entertainment throughout his life.
He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in building engineering. Bill worked for Arizona Public Service, a utility company for 32 years and was the manager of the land and survey department. He distinguished himself professionally as a past president of the International Right of Way Association. His job responsibilities frequently took him to the Navajo Indian Reservation.
His love of creating replica models of tanks, ships, airplanes and remote control vehicles was passed on to his son Gary. This also applied to one of his favorite activities, knowing what was going on in the neighborhood via the police scanner.
After retiring in Pine, Ariz., he did private consulting for Coates Field Service and in his spare time continued traveling the world with his wife Joan. He also enjoyed his membership with the Lions Club in Payson.
Following Joan's death in 2003, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. He moved to Catalina, Ariz. where his daughter Wendy, and family, cared for him at home.
Family members preceding him in death were his beloved wife Joan and his daughter Francey. His children, Wendy, Gary and Lisa survive him. He has seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A private service, at sea, was held Aug. 18, 2007. His cremains will join his wife and daughter in a favorite place of theirs off the coast near San Diego, Calif.