Mary Lou Simpson passed away peacefully on Nov. 27, 2008, due to complications of head trauma suffered from a fall at her winter home in Loreto, Baja California, Mexico. She had lived a very full 82 years.
Mary Lou was born Oct. 27, 1926, in Seattle, Wash., to Roma and Frederick Shaw. She graduated from Franklin High School. While attending the University of Washington, she met Jack Simpson, a well-known ski racer and bachelor from Ketchum/Sun Valley who was on leave from the U.S. Navy at the time. In 1946, one-way tickets in hand, Mary Lou and two of her best friends boarded a train bound for Sun Valley. She fell in love with the mountains. A year later, despite Jack's adamant claims that "no woman is going to capture me," Mary Lou and Jack were married in 1947. Over the next several years, they lived in Idaho, Alaska, Washington and Texas, as Jack was a commercial pilot. In 1954, they came back to Idaho for good to open the Warm Springs Ranch Inn for Jack's father, Owen. They were a terrific team for many memorable years.
Mary Lou was one of the original Papoose Club members and always a willing community volunteer. At the age of 53, she ran her first marathon. She was a skier, a tennis player and an avid golfer, always walking, never using a cart.
Jack and Mary Lou traveled frequently to Mexico and eventually built a small house there. They would spend November through May exploring the Sea of Cortes, fishing and camping.
Mary Lou is survived by her sister, Shirley LaDene Thorpe; her brother, Frederick Stiles Shaw; a son, Patrick Eugene Simpson (Karen); a daughter, Kelly Jo Allison (Glen); grandchildren Amber Daun Morgan (David), Corey S. Simpson, Josie Rachel Allison, and Laine Marie Allison; and seven nieces and a nephew.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Jack Eugene Simpson, and a son, Michael Warren Simpson.
Memorials may be sent to the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation at Box 203, Sun Valley, ID 83353.
A celebration of Mary Lou's life will take place this summer. Look for announcements this spring.