BARK RIVER - Clifford Ken "Tippy" Simpkins, 80, of Bark River, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, July 13, 2013, at the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain. He was born on July 22, 1932, in Williamson, W.V. and was the son of Andrew and Rose (Stallings) Simpkins. Clifford attended school in Mann, W.V. and was a member of the graduating Class of 1950 from Mann High School.
Following high school, Cliff enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps serving as a Korean Combat Veteran until he was honorably discharged. During Cliff's enlistment process, he was told that he was six pounds underweight and could not join. With his great desire to serve his country, he purchased six pounds of bananas, ate them, and insisted on being reweighed.
In 1955, Cliff married the former Mary Miller. She and their daughter, Judy Ann, died during childbirth in 1956. He later remarried the former Donna June Lane in 1957.
Clifford Ken ‘Tippy’ Simpkins
Cliff was an accomplished truck mechanic all his life employed by Command Diesel until his retirement in 1993. Following his retirement, he purchased a hobby farm later that same year in Bark River where he was close to his grandson, Jeremy. Cliff was not only an excellent mechanic; he was also good at fixing and designing most anything. He even completed from scratch his own banjo, a .50 caliber muzzleloader, and fixed many violins that seemed destroyed.
In his spare time, Cliff enjoyed crossword puzzles, euchre, playing his banjo, his cats, but most of all spending time with his family.
He is survived by: daughters, Peggy Simpkins, Bark River, Cheryl (Derrick) Eliason, Bark River and Lisa Simpkins, Bark River; gGrandchild, Jeremy Eliason of St. Paul, Minn.; sisters, June (Mark) McDonald of Columbus, Ohio, Ida Osbourne of Nitro, W.V., Ann (Dave) Morgan of Charleston, W.V.; brother, George Simpkins of Columbus, W.V.; Several Nieces and Nephews
He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Rose, wives; Mary and Donna, daughters Judy Ann and Melanie, and brother Cullen.
A gathering of family and friends celebrating the life of Clifford Ken Simpkins will take place on Friday, July 19, 2013, at the Pinecrest Nursing home in Powers. Delta County Veterans Services will be conducted at 6 p.m. Friday (EST) at the Pinecrest Fellowship Room followed by funeral services for Clifford Ken Simpkins with Grandson Jeremy Eliason officiating. A luncheon will be served following the service in the Pinecrest fellowship area. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to family to be divided between Cliff's two favorite charities. The Anderson Funeral Homes of Escanaba and Gladstone are assisting the family with the arrangements and online condolences can be sent to the family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.