Honoured by Jacqueline Simpson and Family.
Bert was born and raised in Christian Valley, where he attended school and participated in the chores at the family farm. His Grandfather, Samuel Simpson, one of the early settlers in the area, built his home in 1880 on what is now known as Simpson Hill. Later on, his father George Simpson, settled below the hill in Christian Valley. Bert was a natural entrepreneur and his determination contributed to making him a successful businessman.
In 1952, he started in the automobile business selling Willis Jeep for Northland Equipment Supply Co. followed by seven years at Pitman Motors, the Chrysler Dealer, where he became one of the five major Salesmen for the province of Ontario for three consecutive years. By 1960, he was ready to open his own Used Car Business as Bert Simpson Motors Ltd. The first franchise he acquired was Renault in 1963, eventually followed by Datsun until 1976, when he became an AMC/Jeep Dealer. In 1984, he opened a second Dealership, Gateway City Imports, to represent the Hyundai
franchise. Finally in 1994 after being involved for 42 years in the car business in North Bay, Bert retired. During those years he was a past president of the North Bay Automobile Dealers Association and on Dealer Advisory Boards for each franchise that he has held. His success can be traced back to his hard work, organizational ability and merchandising skills. He was a man who enjoyed connecting with people, never forgot his roots and remained a country boy at heart with a great appreciation for the rich heritage of the area where he spent his life.
An avid sportsman, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and skiing but his greatest passion was flying. He owned several aircraft and flew them enthusiastically between 1973 and 1991 to commute to the family cottage in the French River area as well as several cross country flights into Quebec and to Toronto Island.
He was dedicated to his community. In the early years he sponsored local hockey teams and curling bonspiels and was a member of the West Ferris Lions Club. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge #617, and the Rorab Shrine Club where he was supportive of the functions, and fundraising activities. Bert was a former Fund Raising Chairman for the Canadian Cancer Society. In retirement he very much enjoyed his contribution as a board member for the Nipissing Township Museum.
He was the proud and loving father of Lori (Michael Prior), of Westlake Village, California, Barb (Terry Turl) or Port Perry and Shelli (Don McLeod) also of Port Perry. His six grandchildren, Shea, Shannon, Abbie, Megan, Taylor and Robert brought a lot of joy to his life. He took great pride in his family’s accomplishments.
Bert was a passionate man, fully committed to every task he undertook. By embracing life to its fullest, he accomplished a lot during his lifetime. He was a very positive person with a winning smile and a presence that was felt wherever he went. He passed away on August 4, 2008. His legacy lives on in his children because he inspired them and instilled values by being a role model.