Eleanor Lambert Simpson
February 7, 1934 – October 11, 2020
Our sweet Eleanor “Ellie” Lambert Simpson passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, October 11, 2020 on Mercer Island, WA. after an extended illness. She was 86 years old.
Ellie was born on February 7, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio to George Fife Lambert and Neida Eleanor Lambert (nee Larkworthy). She was the first of two daughters born to the couple. Ellie was a good student and well-liked in school. She developed as a leader during her adolescent years, and graduated from Bedford High School and went on to college at what is now known as University of Mount Union in Ohio.
Ellie married at age 20 and became a mother for the first time at age 21. She and her family moved to Miami, Florida at age 23, where she became a mother for a second time. There were many moves in the next 15 years as her husband’s career necessitated. Ellie arrived in the Seattle area in 1971 and stayed. She was employed as a secretary for Container Corporation of America for many years, retiring in 1995.
In the Seattle area, Ellie enjoyed a long relationship with various community theater organizations, with memorable performances starring as the lead in The Lion in Winter, Arsenic and Old Lace, Curious Savage, and Something’s Afoot. She also used her organizational and artistic skills by directing, stage-crafting, costuming, and all the “backstage” work that she enjoyed. Ellie encouraged dozens of others to join in the fun and helped to introduce so many to the community theater experience.
It was during her time in community theater when she met Basil L. Simpson at the Carco Theater in Renton, WA. during a production. They held the starring roles when they were married at The Carco Theater, centerstage, on January 23, 1981, promising to bring sunshine into each other’s lives every day, which was a promise kept for nearly 40 years. Ellie welcomed all her new family members from Basil’s previous marriage. She was a master of crafting this family, which often included friends who became as close as family. The holidays were especially remarkable with Ellie; she enthusiastically provided a beautiful holiday experience for everyone and loved doing it. Ellie was happy to produce family favorites for meals every year, and her fried dressing will forever be unmatched. The warmth and loving care she always showed to her family and friends was her gift to the world; There was always room in her heart for one more.
Ellie was a long-time member of Renton United Methodist Church, and of the choir there. The friendships and good times with the other members of the choir were precious to her and the family. Ellie also used her gifts in singing as a member of Rainier Chorale, based in Kent, Washington. During her time with the chorale, she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and Benaroya Hall in Seattle, as well as many concerts around the area through the years. She loved all kinds of music, but her favorites were always “anything with rhythm, baby!”
Ellie was delighted to learn that she could finally be called “Grammie.” As her five grandchildren began to arrive, she was sure to create memories with them in so many ways: baking Christmas cookies, reading stories, spending the night, summer visits, Thanksgiving and naps in Grammie’s lap. Ellie was an aunt to the children of her sister, Shirley Moscona, and great-aunt to so many.
After her retirement, Ellie began the adventures of her life traveling with Basil and her sister, Shirley. They took several cruises, traveled to almost every state in the union, and to Great Britain and Denmark. One of the most notable trips to New England ended with a cross-Canadian train trip back to Seattle. Perfect traveling partners, always ready to take a side road, their love for experiencing and learning the history of every part of America they visited is evident by the wall of souvenir magnets and bookshelves of photo albums.
Participating in her community was important to Ellie. She was a long-time member of the Renton Municipal Arts Commission, served on many church committees, volunteered her time for the Center of Hope in Renton, the Emergency Feeding Program, and countless other community-based assistance programs.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Shirley Moscona. Ellie is survived by her husband, Basil L Simpson, her children David (and Donna) Thomas, and Will Thomas, and step-children Craig (and Lynn) Simpson and Dawnita (and David) Edgemon. She is also survived by her grandchildren Steven Simpson (Emily Weber), Stephanie, Megan and Joshua Thomas and Michael Edgemon. Her extended family includes her nieces and nephews and all their children.
Ellie loved little more than large parties full of eating, laughing, and music. To honor her love of family and friends, a celebration of her life will be held when we are all able to come together safely after the threat of Covid-19 is conquered.
The family wants to thank all of Ellie’s caregivers over the past several months, especially her long-time doctor, Ze’ev Young MD and the staff at Covenant Shores in Mercer Island and Evergreen Hospice. The family respectfully asks that any remembrances be made to the Center of Hope in Renton (reachrenton.org) or to Rainier Chorale, in Ellie’s name.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Eleanor Lambert Simpson
October 20, 2020
20 years ago following hurricane Katrina, a group of us from the Methodist church traveled to Biloxi to help rebuild some houses. After spending a wonderful week building together, Basil and Ellie and Brian and I ended up staying in the same hotel. Ellie and I spent a couple of hours bobbing in the pool and basking in the sun. We told stories and laughed and had a wonderful afternoon. This is my favorite moment in time with my friend Ellie. I will miss her beautiful soul.
October 19, 2020
Grammy, you will be missed
October 13, 2020
Sending tons of love and hugs to all of you. Mom and Aunt Ellie are together again. Sisters Reunited.