Gamble Funeral Service

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Marjorie Downing McKinnon Simpson died peacefully on June 8, 2022. Sissie was born in Brunswick on December 31, 1929, the daughter of Ethelyn Nightingale McKinnon and William Boston McKinnon. She was raised in Milledgeville, moved to Savannah in 1945, and attended Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C.

After returning to Savannah, Sissie met the love of her life, John Simpson, with whom she shared 57 years of marriage. She was a member of St. John’s Church, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Trustees’ Garden Club, the Davenport House Museum Committee, the Junior League of Savannah, and the Telfair Hospital Board of Directresses.

Sissie was a beautiful person inside and out. She went through life with a smile and was always ready to share a joke. She could teach anyone to water ski or ride a bike, had an unmatched talent for inventing Scrabble words, could cook a Thanksgiving turkey in her sleep, and was a skilled crabber, shrimper, and fisherwoman. She and John loved traveling, especially in the UK, and she enjoyed many family vacations in Bluffton and Highlands. She was never shy about clipping and sending “helpful” articles to family members or suggesting that they avoid french fries.

After her beloved John’s death, Sissie moved to the Marshes of Skidaway Island. She loved living there and filled her days enjoying the company of old and new friends, honing her skills at jigsaw puzzling, and faithfully attending the 5:30 cocktail hour gathering.

Sissie was preceded in death by her sons Garey and Ely, her sister Lynn Glendinning, her brother Billy McKinnon, and her nephews Tom, Bill, and Richard Glendinning.

Sissie is survived by a number of loving family members, including her daughter, Ethelyn, and her daughters-in-law Cindy Simpson and Liz McAlpin. Sissie’s love of children was never more evident than in her adoration for her grandchildren Katie Spencer (Eric), John Simpson III (Nancy), Garey Simpson, Jr. (Julia), and Marshall Simpson, who loved their Gran. Sissie took great joy in her great-grandblessings Addi Spencer, Ansley Simpson, Elliott Spencer, John Ely Simpson IV, and Sophia Simpson, who loved their Gigi. Other survivors include her cousins Nina Braziel, Troup Nightingale, Downing Nightingale, Nadia Allen, and Bob Hasbrouck; her nephew Will McKinnon and niece Clerc McKinnon; and her great-niece Columbia Glendinning.

The family will hold a private burial service at Bonaventure Cemetery.

Remembrances may be made to Hospice Savannah Foundation, PO Box 13190, Savannah 31416; the Andrew Low House Museum, 329 Abercorn Street, Savannah 31401; or St. John’s Church, 1 West Macon Street, Savannah 31401.

Online Condolences

  1. Sally Altman Bradshaw says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Mother. She always was so kind and thoughtful

  2. Boom Modlin says:

    What a wonderful woman. I was blessed to have had her be a part of my life .

  3. Michael A Lunsford says:

    I want to extend my condolences to the family. May you look to the heavens with a smile on your face and know that you have an Angel watching over you.

  4. scott gress says:

    Sissie and John were our neighbors for many years. They were wonderful. The boys were particularly fascinated by John’s WW2 stories. We had John over one day so the boys could watch Guadalcanal Diary, the fight that WW2 USMC Lt Simpson was in, with him. Soon after, John and Sissy gave the boys USMC related gifts.

    We will always remember John and Sissy Simpson.

  5. virginia mckenna says:

    What a beautiful obituary for a beautiful soul. You were the epitome of a loving, faithful daughter.
    Please accept our deepest condolences.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Mary Ann Marinucci says:

    Ethelyn: I am so sorry to hear about your mom. She was such aan amazing person & I always looked forward to seeing her when I visited my dad at The Marshes. Sending you & your family thoughts & prayers.

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