With deep sadness we are announcing the peaceful passing of Barbara Mary Frances Simpson (nee Little) at the age of 94, with her daughter, Janet, at her side on Thursday, February 4 in Whitby, due to congestive heart failure.

Barbara is survived by her daughters; Rosemary Shea (David), Janet Finlay (James) Katharine Klose (Steven), daughter-in-law Jill Simpson, many honorary sons and daughters, 9 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Robert (Zoe) Little, sister, Ausma Podkalns and sister-in-law Fran Little. Barbara is predeceased by her husband, Vernon Simpson; son, William Simpson; brother, Edward Little II, and parents, Edward and Mary Little.

Barbara was born on May 26, 1926 in St. Catharines and grew up in Thorold and Welland. At the age of 5, she and her family began going to a family property in Muskoka – they called “The Camp” – later named Windy Shores by her mother. And camp they did, with sheets of canvas flung over wood poles, cots for beds, camp fires, a single candle for light as the sun went down and a dug latrine! Soon a one-room wood structure was built and the family continued to live off-the-grid for 89 years. Improvements were made over the years making it Barbara’s special place to be. Her parents were very active in Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, so passed many useful outdoor skills onto her and her brothers. Throughout her life she was active in many Girl Guides capacities; as a Brownie and Girl Guide Leader and Camp Director. She fondly remembered doing her part as a teen during the war as a Niagara Area Farmerette – (working on local farms as many of the farm hands had gone to war). She went to college and ventured off to work in Toronto at the Connaught Laboratories as a Lab Technician. It was in Toronto where she met and married Vernon Simpson, a U of T Engineer in 1950. They had 4 children and moved from Toronto to Fonthill in 1955.

Barbara took an active role in her community.  She was on the Fonthill Library Board ensuring a new library was built; was instrumental in the long running success of the Pelham Art Council’s annual show; and an avid volunteer and strong supporter of her church – Holy Trinity Church in Fonthill. She participated in Girl Guides Canada, the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, the Canadian Needle Arts Guild, the (McKeevers) Owl Foundation, the Cancer Society, and local hospitals. She and Vern were enthusiastic world travelers and enjoyed wintering in Mexico for the last 25 years.

Barbara was an excellent seamstress, avid reader, card player, knitter, and on occasion – poet. She will always be remembered for her grace, dignity, life wisdom and all encompassing affection. She was strong, kind, a teacher of compassion and a beacon of love. May God bless her and may her beautiful spirit live on through all who knew her.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the family will plan a Celebration of Life and Burial at a later date.

Memorial donations can be sent to:   Owl Foundation (Vineland Station), Scott Mission (Toronto), Salvation Army or  Cancer Society of Canada.

On-line condolences, memories may be shared on Barbara Simpson’s obituary at:



15 thoughts on “BARBARA SIMPSON

  • May you cherish her wonderful spirit, and share her stories and memories which will bring you comfort at this sad time. Our condolences to the family.

    • We send our deepest condolences to the family for your very sad loss
      Barbara enjoyed the family gatherings so much and we shall really miss her presence She always expressed her gratitude for everything you did for her

  • What a wonderful life Barb lived and how many she nurtured. She shared generously and taught life lessons with love and patience. My fondest memories are of the summers at Windy Shores. Each in our own way shall miss her but, remember her with great pleasure. Our condolences.

  • So sorry for your loss Janet and family. What a great life she lived! So glad that you had the opportunity to spend many winters together in Mexico and then to provide your mom with the care that she needed in the past year. May you take comfort from the wonderful memories of great past times.

  • We are so sorry to read the sad news received from Janet and Jim. We present our sincere condolences to all the family.
    I will never forget your mother; I saw her for the 1st time in July 1975. She was a very sweet lady with a big heart.
    Klara was telling me also that she was very impressed when we received the invitation to go to Canada for our wedding gift. She will never forget that.

  • Connie, Ryan and myself send out condolences to the family. She was a sweet intelligent lady and I learned a lot from her. I have vivid great memories of her, I smile thinking of them.

  • Was very saddened to hear of Barbaras passing.She was a wonderful friend and gave me lots of laughs.She certainly enjoyed her family.Iwill miss our phone chats.Please accept my deepest sympathies
    Rosemary C.

  • Very sorry to hear the passing of Barbara. I have fond memories of talking to her and hearing her stories about travelling around the world. My condolences to her family.

  • She will be missed by many. Her life was a beacon and wonderful example of how to live life to the fullest.

  • Our condolences to the family. The Timms Family and the Simpsons lived across the street from each other for many years. Barb and Marion kept an eye on each other’s home during absences. They served in the ACW together at Holy Trinity and I have some of her beautiful needlework that I won at the Penny Sale. As children, I played with the Simpson girls at their home and on the infamous trampoline. Barb always made me feel welcome as if I was one of hers too!
    I remember Barb just “whipping” up clothes for a doll to replace toys lost in a house fire by one of the neighbourhood girls. I will miss her caring heart very much.
    to Rosemary, Janet and Kathie my heart felt sympathy in this time of shared sorrow. My mother, Marion Timms also passed on January 24th, 2021

  • Your Mother Barbara was a wonderful person. I knew her when I was young I started baby sitting you when your Mom went to teach Brownies or Guides. Then I continued baby sitting when your Parents went out. and on holidays to Mexico. I left Fonthill in 1962 going to Toronto for a summer job but did not return until 1985. I am sorry to hear of her passing but you have a lot of wonderful memories to look back on. I am sure. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Barb was such a lovely ‘great aunt’ to all of us in the family! She was a wonderful woman. Full of positivity, joy and adventure. I’m so glad Aunt Janet and Uncle Jim, that you both were able to be by her side. To Rosemary, Kath and the rest of the family, Eric and I send our love and condolences. xoxo

  • Feb 22. Baden Powell Day seems like the appropriate day to look back on all the girl guides in my life and your mom was one of the great ones. She was dedicated, instilled all the right goals but encouraged creativity and adventure. She appreciated calculated risks and laughed heartily! You will miss her dearly! Bless you!

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