Joe A. Simpson
Last updated 5/10/2023 at 4:30pm | View PDF
Joe A. Simpson, AIA, 81, of Burr Ridge, passed away March 18, 2023, with his son and wife by his side at Northwestern Hospital after a yearlong battle with thyroid cancer.
He was born in 1941 in Kansas City, Kan., to Floy and Joe C. Simpson.
The many skyscrapers he built were in full view from his hospital bed window. He had an incredible desire to build the best buildings possible with his love and passion for the great city of Chicago. He built a successful career as project manager on the Cook County jail, RUSH University Hospital, The Fairmont Hotel, The Hyatt Hotel on Wabash, The Boulevard Towers and Presidential Towers. The market was changing, so he needed to pursue other avenues. He was offered a newly created position with an assignment something he had never accomplished before; it was to refurbish The Custom House, the offices of Eliot Ness and the Untouchables shortly before 9-11. He enjoyed this challenge immensely.
Many of his fascinations were with the planets, galaxies and the universe, always wanting to get closer and to even look deeper inside the center of the earth. He and another friend took classes at the Adler Planetarium, building their own telescopes. Joe’s was so big and heavy he had to place it on a tripod in order to view his world.
Joe enjoyed paddling down the Kankakee River, Fox River, area creeks and waterways. He built a strip canoe for his own enjoyment from scrap pallets from old finished job sites. In his limited free time, he enjoyed golfing with his buddies and participating in shooting range tournaments. At the top of his list was riding his Harley 883 Sportster on winding wilderness roads. In his early years Joe flew Cessnas out of Midway Airport for pure enjoyment with the excitement of being up in the air with the clouds in full control of the throttle of the plane.
He met his future wife, Beverly, a registered medical assistant, while she was working at a medical office where FAA physicals for pilots were performed. As pilots were required to have a physical twice a year, Bev would see Joe twice a year never failing. They were married on Oct. 17, 1970.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly; and his son, Joe M.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Adolf Funeral Home, 7000 S. Madison St., Willowbrook.
Family and friends will meet for a 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, for a funeral Mass at St. Isaac Jogues Church, Fourth and Clay St Hinsdale.
Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.