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Rae "Anne" Simpkins

August 15, 1947 February 7, 2020
Rae  "Anne"  Simpkins
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Obituary for Rae "Anne" Simpkins

Rae “Anne” Simpkins was born August 15, 1947, in Pueblo, Colorado, to Norman Stanley and Edith Rosemary (Berry) Relaford. Growing up in a military household, Anne and her four siblings lived in many places around the world over the years. The family eventually settled in Washington and Anne graduated from Lakes High School in Lakewood. Anne joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), an American governmental organization that placed volunteers throughout the United States to help fight poverty through community projects with various organizations. She met Geary Simpkins and the couple fell in love and married in just a couple of months.  

Geary was in the Airforce and the couple were immediately sent to California where they soon welcomed their first daughter. They were then stationed in Panama where their youngest two daughters were born. When the girls were young, Anne also joined the Air Force and the family was apart for a bit until Geary was able to transfer to where Anne was stationed. Anne served four years in the Air Force and once honorable discharged, she decided to stay home with the girls. After years of moving around, the family finally settled in the Salem, Oregon, area in 1984 to be near Anne’s parents. The girls recall that

Anne always encouraged them toward a love of education and insisted that they at least graduate from high school, and they all did. One of the things that Anne loved about their home in Salem was the banana tree in the back yard. She grew a garden, tended her beautiful flowerbeds, and grew all kinds of houseplants, but especially loved citrus trees and tropical plants. Anne loved her family, her dogs, and the time they spent together, and was very interactive with her grandchildren until her health began to fail and limited her abilities.

She was an adventurous soul, enjoying all the different places their life in the Airforce took them. Anne was always willing to try new things and told her daughters to never be afraid to try. She was also headstrong which allowed her to accomplish anything she set her mind to. 

Anne passed away peacefully on February 7, 2020, in Sublimity, Oregon. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Dennis Relaford. Rae Anne is survived by her husband of 49 years, Geary Simpkins; daughters Maggie (Andrew Miller) Simpkins, Betsy (Wayne Bonifay) Simpkins, and Jeni (Daniel) Bullis; siblings James Relaford, Ronald (Janet) Relaford, and Shannon Relaford; and grandchildren Bridget, Nathan, and Sam. 

Anne will be laid to rest with military honors at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. A private family celebration will be held at a later date.

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