Mary Mulligan Simpson

Simpson, Mary M. ALBANY Mary (Mulligan) Simpson, 84, of Albany and Boynton Beach, Fla., died Saturday, May 10, 2008 at St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born in Staten Island, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late John W. and Mary (Emmott) Mulligan. She attended the College of St. Rose and was a graduate of Empire State College. She retired from the NYS Department of Labor. Mrs. Simpson was a communicant and one of the founding members of St. Catherine of Siena Church. She devoted her life to her family and friends and was a lifelong Yankees fan.

Wife of the late Robert J. Simpson Sr. and Wallace Culver; mother of Joanne S. (Ed) Cedilotte of Glenmont, Robert J. (Donna) Simpson Jr. of Knox, N.Y., Mary R. (Thomas) Smith of Albany, Jack (Joanne) Simpson of Burnt Hills, N.Y. and William (Jennifer) Simpson of Rensselaer, N.Y.; grandmother of Christine Cedilotte, Rik, Jordan, and Zachary Simpson, Thomas A. Smith, Brian and Katie Simpson; great-grandmother of Abigail Simpson; sister of Irene O’Toole Jamieson of New Hartford, N.Y. and Madonna Rowland of Latham, N.Y.; also survived by special friends Pam Carrier and Chris Converse, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by great-granddaughter, Nova Simpson.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. from the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave. then at 11:30 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Relatives and friends are invited and may also call at the funeral home Tuesday from 5-8 p.m.
Entombment will follow the Mass in the mausoleum of St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

Our Mom
Mary Regina Simpson Smith

The most important thing I can say about our Mother is that the five of us really lucked out because we got the best mother ever. She was an amazing mother. Throughout our lives she taught us a lot of lessons along the way.
She taught us to love our God. When our parents were buying their first home one of the major requirements was, that it be close to a Catholic school and church – we grew up two blocks from St. Catherine’s. She taught us that family was important and that the friendship between our siblings was essential. She loved her two sisters, Irene and Donna, her nieces and nephews and grand children.
She taught us that education was one of the keys to success. In fact, one of our nick names for our Mother was Mrs. Education. Our parents put us through Catholic grade schools, Catholic high schools and paid for all of our college tuition. Our parents always put our needs ahead of their own.
She taught us how to have celebrate life. Every year we spent 2 weeks on Cape Cod or at Misquamicut, Rhode Island. Our home was a happy home. We are not a perfect family but we are a loving family.
She taught us to respect our elders and to help others.She taught us right from wrong.
She was a very giving mother. She helped us whenever we were in need and many times without our ever asking. She was a forgiving mother. Needless to say we all gave her several gray hairs.
She was a mother who knew what was going on every minute. She had to be in the know. She didn’t want to be left out of anything. Who was on the phone and what did they want. She used to tell us she had eyes in the back of her head.
She kept very current. And had a great mind till the very end. I had no idea what 420 meant but our mother did.

She taught us how to be strong and survive. Our mother lost two husbands, and had about 10 operations over the years. She was a true survivor.
She gave invaluable advice. When things went wrong one of her famous lines was “You didn’t listen”.
And she was very stylish, had a passion for fine clothing and always dressed so nicely. She loved to shop. And she loved her sweets. Her two favorite things to eat and drink were Nestles chocolate bars and coca cola. In her later years she loved bananas, Pam’s banana bread, blueberry muffins and 3 Musketeers bars. They were all easy for her to eat. In addition, to being our Mother she was our best friend.

She taught us that the Yankees were the best team ever and that Derek Jetter was the best shortstop. It is no coincidence that Jetter hit his first home run of the season the day our mother passed away. Somehow I think Mom had something to do with that.

We all learned a lot from our mother. We tried to implement the lessons she had taught us over the years. Each of us in our own way did what we could to help her when she was in need in her last few years. At times it wasn’t easy. It is very difficult to watch your beloved mother go through such difficult times. She knew what she wanted and she wanted it now. In fact, Chris hung signs at 6 Hopewell Street that read “It’s all about Mary”. And in the end it was all about Mary. We couldn’t do enough for her and we couldn’t do it fast enough.

You learn a lot about your family when a loved one is very ill. My siblings and I tried to take good care of our mother. Toward the end, Joanne was her rock. She depended on Joanne for everything. Joanne was the director. For the last few years, Joanne and Ed took care of her medical needs, her finances, and her everyday needs. It was Joanne she looked to for direction. And it was Joanne who did everything humanly possible to help our mother. One night last week at the Villa, I told Joanne to go home since she had been there all day; my Mom said “No, Joey stay.” Even though there were 2 of us that would be staying, she wanted Joey to stay. Joanne’s presence was a great comfort to her. She felt much more secure when Joanne was near. You couldn’t ask for a better daughter.

Since Bob retired, he spent endless hours with our Mom. He drove down from Knox daily to be with her. She told me how fortunate she was to have him. She spent her last time in Florida with Bobby and he took excellent care of her. She told me that Bobby really knew how to take care of a sick person. He did things without her ever even asking – so many things to make her comfortable. And no one could make tea better than Bobby. It was Bobby who finished her last cup of tea Saturday morning after she passed.

She enjoyed Jack’s humor. He always made her laugh. He did crazy things like throwing sticky animals on the ceiling of her hospital room. At the end I saw his serious side. I watched him guide her with her breathing. Breath through your nose and out through your mouth. Take it real slow Mom. It was so very difficult for her because she was a mouth breather. There were several nights Jack stayed late after working a full day and then he had a long drive home to Burnt Hills.

And Bill, he was her baby and her favorite. She never admitted it but we all knew. It was Billy who got her a blanket and tucked her in when she laid on the couch and didn’t feel well years ago. He was there for her after our Dad passed away. He and Bobby brought her muffins from Dunkin Donuts daily. No one could make milkshakes quite like Billy. There was a very special bond between our Mom and her youngest child. And she loved Bailey. He always brightened up her day. My mother has three very dedicated sons and she was very proud of each one of them.

And me I made the cookies and tweezed the dark hairs from her face. She loved us all and we will always love her.

She led a simple, honest and clean life. She was a beautiful person who had the softest skin. She was a wonderful role model for us all and it comes as no surprise that the last word she uttered was Jesus. We know our Mom is in a better place where there is no pain, no oxygen issues, no need for ambesol, lip medex, cold water or Kleenex. We are going to miss you Mom and we all love you very much. Thank you for being our Mother and taking such wonderful care of us all. Today, we celebrate you.

Mary Mulligan Simpson
Robert John Simpson

First:   thanks to all of you who are here to honor our mom….. we appreciate you being here to help us celebrate our mother’s life.

She was born March 30, 1924 on Staten Island at St. Vincents Hospital. Her mom was Mary Emmott Mulligan (our Nana) and her father was John William Mulligan (our grumpa).  She had a happy childhood on Staten Island; she talked about the summers next to the ocean….

She had two sisters, Irene O’toole Jamieson of Utica and Florida and Madonna Rowland of Latham.  The 3 Mulligan girls all did very well for themselves, they raised beautiful families….. And my mom was very proud of her sisters.

She attended school in NYC, Delmar, and Albany.  In 1941 she graduated from Vincentian Institute High School.  She still has friends from VI after over 60 years. She then  went to the College of St. Rose for 2 years.  The war stopped that for awhile. She then raised the Simpson kids, had a career and went back to Empire College and got her degree.

First of all she was smart.  Up to the end she could beat me when we watched Jeopardy.  She was a reader who liked good furniture, and good clothes.  She also had very good taste and STYLE.  She had excellent hearing ………………..and she was always listening.

Some of her loves in life included:

My father, Robert John Simpson Sr of Portadown, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Connecticut and the US Coast Guard.  They had a war-time romance and they were a great team.  We were lucky to have them as our parents.  Our family at 6 Hopewell Street rocked… thanks Mom.

The New York Yankees.  She loved Derek Jetter.  If she was not watching her team on her very big HDTV, she was listening to them on her radio.  Every time I talked to her she had to remind me of the number of games they were ahead of Boston.  She loved to needle me and Tom Smith about her team.

Shopping…………. Central Ave…., the malls…. the outlet centers…. and lets not forget the Christmas Tree Shops.  She made me take her to everyone on Cape Cod..

Food…..she loved her veal Parmesan at Lombardos, her shrimp, her fish, her chocolate bars.

Public Service…… she was very proud that she worked for New York State.  For many years she ran the Unemployment Office in Albany.  Her work let her help people. She was willing to teach her workers how to do their jobs.  She really cared.

She loved her grandkids….Christine, Rik, Jordan, Zachary, Tom, Brian, and Kate.  She even got to hold a great grandchild, Abigail Simpson who was born on mom’s 83rd birthday.

I know she loved the 5 Simpson kids, Joanne, Robert, Jeannie, Jack and Bill.  She was a great mom, although Jeannie is right……she loved Billy the most!!!!!!!! She was so proud of Jack,  and his family. She told me to always protect my little sister Jeannie, and I will.

Lets not forget the animals in her life… Lady the collie way back in the 1940s. Fletcher the boxer, Tobias the Siamese Cat, Deacon the dalmatian and Bailey, Billy and Jen’s yellow lab…..Mom really loved Bailey………

About 30 years ago my mom and dad found something new.  The state of Florida.  They always told us that we should not move away from them.  Not one of us did, however they moved away from us to the warmth of Florida.

Warm winters were good for Mary Simpson.  She stayed healthy down there and kept busy and made many new friends.  She always kept track of Albany’s weather and had to call us to let us know how high the temperature was down there… I loved taking care of mom in Florida over the past 4 years…..

After my dad was gone, mom found Wally Culver and had a very happy 10 years with him. We liked mom going on with her life…..    They were able to take great cruises and trips. Most of us went to Nova Scotia on the Triumph in 1999, paid for by our Mom. We will not forget that gift.

Some random thoughts about Mary Mulligan Simpson:

•    for many years mom and dad put together a booth for the St. Catherines bazar with bamboo fishing pools, painted file transfer boxes and coke  bottles that you were supposed to stand up to win stuffed animals.  She spent a lot of money on our Catholic educations, always writing those checks….

•    she had a thing for KLEENEX

•    she liked to spread her money around, she was way too generous with her checks and she had excellent handwriting.

•    she got better cooking Italian Food over the years

•    the cupcake incident on the mass turnpike Springfield Exit…

•    remember when all 7 of us went out for an Easter drive on Carmen Road and Dad got the station wagon stuck in the sand.  It was okay until I took out a camera to take a picture of the situation and dad lost it and chased me around, thank God mom was there to calm dad down……

Mary Mulligan Simpson was a good mother.  She made sure that we all had good educations, good meals, great vacations and were shown the warmth of family.  She made sure that our Christmas’s were excellent.  Presents filled up our living room and we always got way too much.

Over the past few years we all pitched in to help mom stay in her house.  It was hard but we all became closer to mom during this time. All of the 5 Simpsons helped out and we had some help from Pam who became the 6th Simpson.  Pam, thanks for painting mom’s toe nails bright red last week.  That was the first time she had that done and she showed her toes to everybody…..

Mom loved her visits from Chris, they always played cards together and they both played to win.  Jeannie tells me that when she won at cards mom would call her and gloat on it.

As Jeannie said, Joanne was amazing these past few years.  She was always in charge and she let you know it. She and Ed were mom’s protectors. Joanne is made of steel.

All difficult things have some good in them; we found out that our family was a good strong family that did the right thing for our mom.  

We have no regrets.

Mary Simpson showed us what is important in life. She taught us how to pray, work hard and respect other people.  We all were able to hand that down to our children.

Thanks mom, we will always remember you as we get on with our lives.  We will see you again down the road….

With love 



Family Pictures

Simpson Girls going weird

Robert J. Simpson retires

Rik, Zachary, Jordan and Deacon

Donna and Donald RowlandDad and his sister Mildred



Burma Pictures


Here is a video Google did for me with some pics and video from my travels of 2013

Mom’s picture collection

This is a photo collection put together by Mary Simpson in the early 1990s…
working on the pixs

Robert Simpson, USCG, Donna Mulligan and Mary Mulligan
August 1944
Cardinal Ave Albany, NY
Nana MulliganMom’s mom, our Nana
Mary Emmott Mulligan       mom donna pop                                                                               Mary Mulligan, Donna Mulligan and Robert Simpson
simpson children
Jack Robert Joanne Jeannie and Billy in front
July 1961
simpson kids
Jeannie, Joanne, Bill
Robert and Jack Simpson
otooles and simpsons cape cod
The O’Tools and Simpsons at JFK Memorial on Cape Cod
george and edith Simpson
George and Edith Simpson Dad’s parents

Manchester Conn.
August 1972

first group of grandkids
Richard, Jordan and Zachary Simpson
Christine Cedilotte
November 24, 1984
Albany, New York
John W. Mulligan
Irene, Mary and Donna with Big John
John W. Mulligan
April 13, 1985
Mary and Robert Simpson
married 40 years
June 1985
Gene and Dad
War buddies
humpty and dumpty
Robert John Simpson Sr.
and friends

created by Robert John Simpson Jr.
April 2004

Back to Basics

I have too many things. Really trying to get unnecessary stuff out of my life. Too much furniture, too many clothes, too much food, too much trash just sitting waiting to go to the dump, and too many TV sets, cables and computers.

Here are some pics I took off the walls and just wanted to save these memories.

Donna and her Tweety shirt which she loved to wear.

Alissa and a duckling

Alissa pic taken by Larry in Cape Cod

Another Larry picture…he is a great photo artist

9 year old Abby

Abby knows she is beautiful.

Still here

Taking care of my beautiful 20161009_135206grandkids, Allisa and Abby. I am not traveling anymore but enjoying my life in my home.

Zachary, my youngest son got married in October. Here is a video of his wedding to John.


I realize how lucky I am. Many grandparents do not have their grandkids in their lives. 

Alissa is now 6 and very different than 9 year old Princess Abby. She fears nothing, will try anything. 

Abby is learning to ride horses. She seems a natural. Here is a short video of her riding her horse Buck.

My trip Overland to India in 1972

by Robert John Simpson

Created 11/16/1996

When I was very young, and television was in black and white, and there were only several channels, I remember there was a show on Saturday mornings which I loved. Andy’s Gang with Andy Devine (“pluck your majic twanger froggy” if that helps); this was a show I never missed. I do not remember much about it except it had a continual story of a young Indian boy (Gunga Ram) running through the Indian jungle; I suppose it had tigers, elephants and maybe even had some music. He always seemed to be running.

Fast forward to September 1967; I am at Siena College, a Franciscan college near Albany, New York; my parents wanted me to go to school and I suppose I was glad to be there. The Viet Nam War was going on and Siena was a much better place to be. That was the summer of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club. The first song on the second side of the album is George Harrison’s “Within You Without You”. The sound of that weird sitar and strange drums (tablas) interested me. I can remember sitting in a class-room, not really wanting to be there, and making a solemn vow with myself that I would complete college and reward myself by going to India someday.


Everything good in my life always came very slowly and after a great deal of work; my school, my career, my family, my house, my happiness, etc…. The trip to India took 4 years of planning and saving to make it happen. I did not know it then, but those were good times. The State was building a large marble office complex downtown and I was able to work as a union laborer. My father sold construction equipment, knew alot of the people and got me in. I was able to work every summer and make enough to pay for school. I always had other jobs and seemed to have enough money for cigs and gas for my little Yamaha 180. Most of my money always went into the bank to pay for school.

In 1971 I graduated from Siena, then I worked on construction and saved up about $2,500. In August I hitched out to California and back. That took 4 weeks and I proved to myself I could do what seemed difficult. In September I got on a brand new 747 at JFK and flew to London. I carried my cheap guitar, a sleeping bag and a backpack.

tom jones

I went up to the small town of Burnley, near Manchester to visit some friends of my mother’s mother who came from there. Tom Jones and his wife took me in, fed me and showed me a great deal of Lancashire including the house where my grandmother was born in 1900; I remember them taking me to a local museum which had some beautiful paintings which were hundreds of years old; the concept of Europe was starting to sink in. The last I saw of them was in Blackpool where they took me to catch the ferry to Ireland, the home of my father.


In Ireland I visited all of the Simpsons; and there are plenty of them. My father’s father’s twin sister, Bella took me in for several weeks. I will always remember the day when I got to her door; one of many in a long line of grey row houses, and she opened it. I saw myself in her wrinkled face. My days in Ireland will always be remembered. Breakfasts in bed, great bread, plenty of beer, singing, and the warmth of family. Of course I visited Northern Ireland in the height of the “troubles”; I did not take any sides, my father was raised a Protestant and my mom a Catholic.

After going over to Scotland, taking the Hovercraft over to Calais and wandering down through Germany, Italy and spending 3 months on Crete, I found myself in Istanbul. This was Asia and things really began to get interesting. By the way, every post card and letter I got from my parents always ended with the words “Do not go to India”.

The trip through Turkey was a nightmare (if anybody ever saw the movie Midnight Express, they have a good idea of this country; the people are neat though). I took a train through Turkey and then went into Iran. They still had the Shah back then, and they had some nice roads. I can remember seeing some strange sites in Tabriz of a religious procession where people were actually beating themselves with chains as they walked along. We looked down on the parade of people from a hotel bacony, we were told to stay inside, but of course I was 22 and had to look at it and take pictures too. All I could say as I was going through these countries was “this is just like the bible”.

Well we made it through Iran and then took buses through Afganistan. I developed my life time love of pomagranates there; but you would have to see it to believe it. Television really does not do these countries justice. Down through the Khyber Pass into the warmth of Pakistan. Now I really enjoyed being stuck in Lahore for several weeks. India and Pakastan just had a war and the border was closed. We had to take a 727 over the border to Amritsar. I can remember going down the steps in back of the plane onto the hot tarmic. I looked at my foot as it hit the ground and said to myself “mission accomplished – you made it to India”.


I went to Delhi and then down to see the Taj Mahal. I first saw it at midnite under a full moon; it is beautiful. I can remember going around it and hearing real live Indian music from a village across the river from the Taj. That nite I slept in the tall grass along the road. ( I look back, with visions of cobras, and think what a fool I was).


I did get over to the Ganges and saw the river and visited some very beautiful sites. Then I took the bus ride of my life up to Katmandu, Nepal. That road is incredible and I can not believe I survived the trip. Well I got my tatoo on my right arm there and I remember sitting in a Hotel and drinking a Tuborg beer and a song came on the radio, a beautiful song; “So Far Away”. Well my mind immediately thought about my family and home. I flew out of Katmandu on a DC-3 to Patna, took a train to Delhi and then got a ticket to Amsterdam. I got back to London and came home.

The whole trip took about 10 months; I used to tell everybody about it (brag actually). I went back to work as a laborer saved up money to go to South America, and just before I left I got a call for a job interview with the New York State Office of Natural Disaster and Civil Defense. I started work there on November 16, 1972 and worked there for 30 years before I retired on St. Patrick’s Day 2003.

After I got the State job, I took the money I was going to use for my next trip and bought some land in the mountains near Albany. I built a geodesic dome and lived in it for several years. My wife and I built this great big house on the same land, and that is where I live today. Thanks for sticking with this story; I love to tell it Here is my tattoo I got up in the Himalayas.


Donna Simpson at peace

We were married on 4 July 1976, 38 years ago. We only knew each other for a few months. She came up my driveway in a snowstorm and promised me she would cook me an Italian dinner. While she was grabbing large cans of real tomatoes and putting them in the cart I thought…I will marry her.


She brought a little boy into my life. I took this little 8 month old baby, Rik as my own. Later came Jordan and then Zachary. We built a house and moved in.

We always enjoyed our lives with the kids and gave them a happy childhood.


Donna and her 3 boys at Partridge Run.

Donna was smart, brassy and beautiful. It was a wild time over the years. She never stopped being a loving mother.

She had all kinds of health issues throughout her life. She lost her big brother in the Viet Nam war when she was only 9. Her mom died suddenly and it broke her heart. Rik was hurt by a drunk driver and we thought we would lose him. This was extremely painful to her and then she lost her first grandchild. These shocks were so hard on this loving woman.

She was hospitalized for 3 years and in terrible health. She never stopped writing and being a loving mother to Rik, Jordan and Zachary.

Although we were apart for a long time I always kept my love and admiration for this strong good woman.


Donna Lynn Mosley Simpson

Thanks for coming into my life Donna..

No regrets

Cape Cod June 2014

Well…..after several days waiting for my car to be fixed/inspected I got out to Wellfleet,  Mass. and I opened up my trailer without too many problems.  The little creatures were busy in my place during the winter.


My summer home

Two Serbs helped me set up the porch screen house and I was in business.  I cooked for my Serbian friends almost every night for the first month. The BBQ still works great after 23 years of use. I really love my trailer,  my porch and my front yard. TV sucks this year. 60 channels of nothing, almost all commercial plastered nonsense.

Nemanja, my friend from Zlatibor, Serbia has given some nice clams. Chip, my Romanian friend brings me fish and scallops.  This year we have 4 Serbs, a Northern Irish couple, a Scottish lady and my friend Indy who is from London.  His family came from the Punjab, India. He has become a good friend.



I have gone to Hyannis 5 times so far. I bring the new students down to get their Social Security cards. I usually stop off at Dairy Queen so they can buy $5.00 lunches.

I am trying to relax but I usually keep busy cleaning, cooking and playing with my computers. I did get some more patoule oil and insense. I miss Asia and try to keep some sense of it here. My food is amazing. I have plenty of time to cook it right.


Miss the girls.

Still have 3.5 months left to go in Cape Cod. Would like to slow it down some so I can really enjoy it.