John Simpson, who was recently , died suddenly Thursday. He was 79.
Simpson served in the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Marine Division during the Korean War. After the war, he graduated from La Salle University with a degree in Business Administration in 1958, and until 1995, worked as a television sports editor and producer.
Since moving to Redondo Beach in 1997, Simpson served on the local Veterans Memorial Task Force and the Traumatic Brain Injury Social Network, which offers support to those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was the director of TBI Social Network from 1997 until his death, according to TBI Social Network Interim Director Cynthia Smith.
The TBI Social Network position was one Simpson held dear. He suffered a debilitating stroke at the end of 1995.
"I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you how to live after a stroke because I've had a serious one," he told the Beach Reporter in June. "I was completely paralyzed I’ve risen above mainly because of my attitude and the help of the VA hospital and the people who took care of me there, the social workers and the therapy workers and the doctors and the nurses that all did a super good job."
As chairman of the Veterans Memorial Task Force, Simpson led efforts to raise more than $250,000 to build the veterans memorial at Veterans Park, which was .
"The memorial gives me a reason to get up every day," he before the dedication. "I talk to everyone about it. It's a community project, and we just happen to be the ones kicking butt and taking names."
Most recently, California honored Simpson as one of its Veterans of the Year in June. He was nominated by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who represents the 53rd Assembly District.
"John has distinguished himself not only through his service to our country, but also through his commitment to improving the quality of life for local veterans," Butler said in a statement announcing the award. "He is truly an inspiration to all of us."
A viewing will be held Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Riche Mortuary on 5310 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance. Internment will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at at 2701 182nd St. in Redondo Beach.
The memorial service will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at at 408 South Broadway in Redondo Beach. A reception will be held after the service.