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Monday, July 12, 2021

Obituary - Pamela Kathleen Simpson

Pamela Kathleen Lightcap Simpson died peacefully on July 2, 2021 at her home in Raymore, Mo. surrounded by her husband and children.

Pam was born at about 3:15 am December 23, 1947 on a beautiful, warm winter day. By the time her parents brought her home in a taxi on New Year’s Eve, there was a blizzard. Her mother remarked to her father that she was not sure she could handle a baby so small. To which her father replied, “Zirma, this one will handle you.” From day one she was independent and self-reliant.

Pam was the fifth of six children, the fourth of a succession of girls born after the first-born, a son and she was an older sister to a beloved baby brother.

During her childhood, summers were for backyard baseball, riding bicycles, climbing trees, harvesting the vegetable garden and having races on the stilts her father made. Winters were for sledding, fudge making, and taffy pulls. There was always time for adventures with her siblings and frequent trips to the corner store where she mastered the art of speed-reading comic books before the clerk would reminder her “this is not a library. If you want to read it, buy it.”

Pam loved school and when she was younger it was the focus of her life. Before she was old enough to attend, she would beg her older siblings to give her homework. She would use their discarded schoolwork to copy the words and learn to read and write.

In high school she had a good group of friends, and her favorite activity was journalism class. The lasting impression of her journalism teacher, Sara Ellen Campbell, was something she held near and dear to her heart always. After completing high school, she was the first of her family to attend university and received a Bachelor of Science in History from University of Missouri Kansas City.

Her passion for penmanship, writing, editing, and love of learning endured throughout her life and was passed on to many others.

When she wasn’t immersed in school she could always be found at the library. Later in her life when she wasn’t at work or with her family she could always be found in the library. The sight of a bookshelf or glimpse a book cart, always made her pulse quicken. Time to read.

Almost every single person who knew Pam could tell you a story about a book she suggested or insisted they read. She wouldn’t tell you to read just any old book. Her suggestions were thoughtful and precise. So, if that person took her up on that suggestion, they would probably tell you that it is still one of their favorite books they have ever read.

Pam was blessed with a bountiful number of nieces and nephews who started arriving when she was still a child herself. Her parents were wonderful grandparents and loved having the grandchildren in their home. Pam loved helping care for her nieces and nephews, doting on them with love and a sense of fun.

Later when Pam was married and having children of her own another bunch of nieces and nephews would arrive. She made a point to love each of them and was always proud of their accomplishments.

In the summer of 1964 she met Willian (Bill) Simpson at a party at Lake Tapawingo. She was 16 and went to the party with a friend from work. Pam recalled when telling the story to her children “I looked up, I saw him come in the room and that was it. Boom. The rest is history.”

It took a few years but, on June 11, 1967, they were married. Bill left for a year of service in Vietnam two months after their wedding and they learned the lesson of how to endure hardship early on.

This year, Pam and Bill, had the chance to celebrate 54 years of love in a quiet celebration at home with their children and a few visitors. Pam often said to her children “the greatest joy in all my life is loving you and Dad.”

Pam had many joys in life that she loved sharing with her family and friends. Royals baseball, morning coffee brought to her by Bill, gardening, opera, theater, the arts, music, travel, genealogy, staying engaged in politics, volunteering, Waverly, MO apple and peach orchards, celebrating holidays, sewing, and classic cinema.

She was proceeded in death by her daughter, Penelope Simpson, sister, Penelope Lightcap Halvorsen, a brother, Samuel Lightcap, sister Susan Lightcap Larson, brother Mark Lightcap, father, Victor Lightcap, mother, Zirma Griffin Lightcap, mother-in-law Doris Hamilton Simpson, father-in-law William Simpson, nieces, Penelope (Denise) Lightcap and Lynette Sullins, and nephew, Sean Burger.

She is survived by her husband, Bill Simpson; daughter Emily Simpson; son Nicholas Simpson and his husband Pablo Provencio; and, daughter Caroline Ramirez and her husband Hector. She is also survived by a sister, Cynthia Lightcap Burger and her husband Rodney, siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.

There will be a celebration of Pam on Saturday, Aug. 7 at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. Visitation will be at 1 pm, service at 2 pm with a reception following at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Lead to Read KC ( or Safe Home (