While it required quite a bit of convincing, Katie “Pauline” Hughes Simpson, 93, permanently retired from her labors here and went to be with the Lord in the earliest hour of Monday, March 29th, 2021.
Born to the late Julian and Mandy Hughes in the Bethany Community on July 6th, 1927, Mrs. Simpson is also preceded in death by her husband, Dudley Simpson; brothers Harold and Donald Hughes; sister Betty Autry; an infant sister, Corinne Hughes; and grandson Christopher Simpson.
Her work here on earth started about 88 years ago, when as the oldest daughter, she was put in charge of caring for her own Grandmother. No matter what childhood game Pauline was playing, it stopped as soon as her Granny’s bell rang. Pauline sprang into action tending to the wants and needs of someone else. That theme would become a life-long pursuit, persisting until Pauline’s body could no longer keep pace with her will.
Pauline married Dudley Simpson and stayed by his side until he died in 1982. By then, she had followed him half way around the world so as not to leave her sailor-boy unattended. For instance, when he was stationed in London, she took a seven-day steamer across the ocean minding two toddlers and a lap baby. When duty called him to the Florida Keys, she endured the aluminum Airstream trailer swaying side to side over the miles-long bridge going and coming. She never cared much for bridges after that.
To prosper on modest means, one must learn to do a lot with a little. In Pauline’s life, no little thing was wasted. She would save half a dinner biscuit or a corner of cloth. In a short time, they became toast for the breakfast eggs and patches for the work clothes. After the children came, and when Dudley got paid on Friday, he stopped at the store for only the essentials. The rest was raised, grown or cultivated on the family property. The butter Pauline churned herself from the cows she and the children milked. The cucumbers were gleaned from the produce baskets before they went to market. The chicken for dinner had been walking in the yard the day before and the grease in which it fried came from the lard she rendered when it was the hog’s time to feed the Simpson clan.
And a clan it was. Four boys followed by two girls. All loved. All introduced early and often to the truth about Jesus. All of them waking up to and going to bed with Pauline singing hymns in the kitchen. In her final hour, she acknowledged hearing those same songs sung to her and she heard a loving son say that one always remembers the first person to tell you about Jesus – “and for all of us, that was you, Momma.”
Her home was always a safe and providing place for anyone who was there, invited or just stopping by. She had a hot meal, a glass of that sweet iced tea and an open heart for whoever crossed the threshold of the Simpson home.
Growing up, there were four boys in one bedroom and there was Dudley and Pauline and the two girls in the other one. When Pauline left this life, all six children were in just the one room, telling Pauline their last goodbyes, if only for now. Each child has his and her say. They told Pauline that they knew they were special in God’s eyes because he had given them the best mother imaginable. They thanked her for the rigid discipline, but also for the sugar that sweetened any bitter lessons. They promised her that they would get back to work at sunrise after took her leave.
She died after one last round of Hosanna in the Highest on her last Palm Sunday – on her first time not being passed over. Rest assured, she was not visited by the Angel of Death. Her escort was an Angel of Life, a protector of the souls who uphold The Word from the sun up to the sun down of time on earth.
It is easy to be sad at the end of Pauline’s life. It is impossible to mourn. Glory to God in the highest!
Pauline Simpson is survived by six children: Richard Simpson and fiancé Jean of Fayetteville; Dean Simpson of the home; Anthony (“Jay”) and wife, Virginia of Fayetteville; Donald Simpson and wife, Betsy of Roseboro; Lori Epler and husband, Larry of Fayetteville; Robyn Buck and husband, Joey of Kure Beach; sisters Peggy Edge of Vander, Bonnie Carter and husband Leo of Hope Mills; brother William Love Hughes and wife Claire of Stedman; 12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, 8 great-great grandchildren and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held at Beaver Dam Baptist Church at 2:00PM Thursday, April 1st, 2021 with Rev. Michael Shook officiating. The burial will follow the funeral at the Simpson Family Cemetery beside the home in Beaver Dam.
Mrs. Simpson’s family will receive loved ones from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 at Butler Funeral home in Stedman on Highway 24.
Services entrusted to Butler Funeral Home, 6535 Clinton Road,Stedman, NC 28391.
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