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Brevard Memorial Funeral Home

5475 North Us Highway 1, Cocoa, FL

OBITUARY

Lorraine Anne Simpson

March 12, 1936June 10, 2020

March 12 1936 - June 10 2020

Lorraine Ann Simpson, a woman of strong faith, love, and laughter that brought joy and comfort to so many during her wonderful life passed away unexpectedly at home June 10.

Born to Lillian and William Wisnewski, she was the youngest of three children, growing up in Elmhurst, Queens, NY. Singing around the piano was a favorite and frequent pastime of her family. This gave her quite a repertoire of broadway and popular sing-alongs. She could break into song to fit any situation which very often would bring a chuckle to those in range.

During her first job as a secretary for Warner Brothers, NYC, she was able to meet some of the popular stars during the 50s, such as John Wayne, Eddie Albert and others.

She met the love of her life, British expatriate, Jack Simpson, through friends of her sister, and they were married in 1956. Not long after their daughter was born, they moved to Florida following Jack’s transfer to take a management position with the USAF Eastern Test Range at Cape Canaveral in support of the NASA Space Program.

After settling in at their Cocoa address, Lorraine, in response to Jack’s comments about the lack of Jazz on the radio, urged her husband to contact the local radio stations to generate interest in a jazz show. He also enlisted the support of Today Newspaper’s Help column to spread the word which they did. And in 1967, “Jazz on the Beach” was born on WRKT (Rocket Radio) in Cocoa and continued on various Brevard stations until 1983 when he took his Jazz program to WUCF-FM in Orlando on the air now for 37 years, with unwavering support from Lorraine.

She also made sure that her three sons and daughter went to Catholic school (St.Mary’s, Rockledge, FL) and as a devout Catholic, expressed her faith in the community in many ways.

One of her major accomplishments, while working as a social worker at the Community Action Agency, Cocoa, FL, was starting a multiracial singing group called the Junior Messengers to sing songs of love and brotherhood throughout Brevard County. The group included as many as 80 kids from the surrounding neighborhoods near the Agency as well as kids from St. Mary’s with the help of Sr. Domitilla, St. Mary’s Music teacher. This was from 1969 to 1975 during the height of the civil rights movement. Through that organization, she touched and influenced countless young men and women who still treasure those experiences and credit her with being a beacon of light and making a huge impact in the direction their life would turn.

She was also a social worker for Catholic Social Services and continued into her retirement serving the underprivileged and those experiencing hardship in their life.

There are many other wonderful things that could be added about her accomplishments in life...her thoughtful poetry, beautiful artwork, avid gardening and love of animals, but to sum up how she made a difference in this world and steal from one of her favorite church songs, The Prayer of St Francis, Lorraine was truly “an instrument of your (God’s) peace,” and will be greatly missed by all that knew her.

A funeral mass will be held Friday, June 19, 2020, at noon, at Blessed Sacrament Church (5135 US Hwy 1, Cocoa FL 32927) where she and Jack have been members since 1967 and where her ashes will be held.

Lorraine will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Jack and her four children: Corey Kondas and her husband Walter of Newtown, CT; John Simpson and his wife Vicki of Port St. John, FL; Jeff Simpson and his wife Deborah of Marietta, GA; and Ken Simpson and his wife Ellen of Mt Carmel, IN; grandchildren: Joni Kondas of New Haven, CT; Sean Kondas of Boston, MA; Shandi and Nolan Simpson of Port St. John, FL; Gabriel, Ava and Liam Simpson of Marietta, GA; and Patrick Simpson of NYC, NY; and great grandchildren: Kambrie and Kayden.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lorraine’s memory to Blessed Sacrament Church - Catholic Charities Outreach Program (321) 632-6333 or WUCF-FM Radio (407)823-0899

Services

  • Memorial Mass

    Friday, June 19, 2020

Memories

Lorraine Anne Simpson

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Chris Puorro

June 22, 2020

It was a pleasure to meet Lorraine when Jack would come to the radio station to produce his program. Her kindness and grace was evident in our every interaction. I was blessed to be able to share even a small amount of time with Lorraine and Jack.

Jack, my prayers are with you in this difficult time. God bless you.

John Mason

June 19, 2020

Jack,

I am so honored to have had a friendship with Lorraine and you, and so saddened by her passing. My condolences to you and your wonderful family.

John Mason

Murray Boggs

June 19, 2020

Jack - having lost my wife recently, I share your sorrow for Lorraine's passing.
I send you my sincerest condolences

Murray Boggs

Alan Mkitarian

June 19, 2020

As so many, I was saddened hearing of Lorraine's passing.
I have fond memories of sharing music, at Heidi's, being together at the Space Coast Jazz Society and my introduction to a day in the studio at UCF, participating in a live recording of Jazz on the Beach.
Her spirit, filled with music, and life will be a lasting memory. Sending sympathy and caring thoughts.
Alan Mkitarian
Palmyra, New Jersey


Maddy Winer

June 19, 2020

Lorraine was so full of love and kindness. She welcomed my husband Jay and I into the jazz community with gusto! My fondest memory was when I honored her on stage by singing SWEET LORRAINE to her and Jack on his 90th birthday. Now every time I sing this song the image of our own Sweet Lorraine will be in my mind.

Lynn Clifton

June 19, 2020

Such a beautiful soul! I have so many fond memories of her beautiful smile, kind words and positive encouragement. She always made everyone feel welcome in her home and was a truly loving and special person. Mrs. Simpson will be missed by so many of us who she nurtured as we grew.

Skip Jamison

June 18, 2020

So sorry to hear Jack & family,your in my prayers. Lorraine was a fine woman that surely will be missed. Skip J.

Terri Wright

June 17, 2020

Lorraine and Jack have been part of the WFIT family for 35+ years.
There are no words to describe Lorraine. She brightened a room with her presence.
Jack and Lorraine had a storybook relationship and her love and support for Jack was beyond compare. A devoted fan of music, jazz and Jack's long and admirable career as the host of the "Longest running Jazz show on the Space Coast." Lorraine's presence at concerts and WFIT's events was a given.
As a devout animal lover she raised and rescued many creatures and always asked about our pets.
A gentle soul, Lorraine will be missed.

Jan Whitehouse

June 17, 2020

By rights, Lorraine should have been discovered by Hollywood; she was arresting in her beauty. Jack snatched her up at an early age and the rest is, well, the rest. Never have I known someone who embodied a marriage vow of ~being there~ "in sickness" than Lorraine. Jack's decades of hosting Jazz on the Beach meant that for many of those years, Lorraine lived that vow sacrificially, driving Jack back and forth between Cocoa Beach and Orlando/UCF until reluctantly allowing a friend drive them both. When she wasn't consumed with Jack's care, Lorraine showed herself to be a witty and sharp observer of character and current events. But even as she would have "just-between-us-girls" moments, there was no division; Lorraine loved whatever Jack loved and Jack had his champion in Lorraine. I will miss her dearly.

LeRoy Darby

June 16, 2020

My heart is heavy along with so many others at the loss of Mrs. Simpson. But joy will come in the morning because this beautiful vessel is resting from her labor on earth and is receiving her reward. One of her accomplishments out many was The Junior Messengers a group she founded-we were kids from all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds that sang songs of love and brotherhood from 1969-75 in Brevard and Orange Counties. Once we were performing on the Bozo Show and I was to lead the Candy Man- well my nerves got the best of me and I told Mrs. Simpson I couldn’t do it. (I was 11 at the time) She smiled and escorted me outside -she said “never say what you can’t do, now you go out there and show them the best candy man you can”. Well the rest is history! I am so grateful I got to share with her on many occasions what she meant to me and as recent as June 3, 2020. She was a great helpmate to the love of her life, Jack Simpson, those beautiful loves shared an immense love for Jazz and last summer was one of the sponsors of The Louis Armstrong musical at the Historic CVP; the first time that work was ever performed on any stage. The wonderful memories will forever be cherished. Love you Mrs Simpson-give my momma a big hug.

FROM THE FAMILY