Life Story / Obituary
Sharon Flanery was born on November 29, 1929 in Kansas City, MO, the youngest daughter of Hunter and Ivy (Tiffany) Flanery. As a young child, Sharon moved to farm outside Romeo, Michigan where she enjoyed country life and riding horses with her sisters and cousins.
Sharon attended and graduated Romeo High School in 1947 where she was the band's drum majorette. She studied graphic design at Michigan State College and applied her skills drawing automobiles for advertisements. She also worked in banks, including as a teller at National Bank of Detroit in the Fisher Building.
Sharon married Romeo High classmate John Taylor Simpson on March 31, 1951. The newlyweds lived in Washington D.C. while John was in the United States Army Intelligence program. Sharon lived and worked in Detroit while John served in Japan during the Korean War. After his return, they settled in Romeo and eventually Bloomfield Hills MI, where they raised four sons.
The family spent summers in Northern Michigan at their Au Sable River cabin outside of Grayling, enjoying fly fishing, canoe trips, canoe racing, and golf. After retiring in 1994, the Simpsons split their time between Michigan and a winter home in Haines City, Florida. In 2013 they moved back to Michigan permanently, settling in Traverse City.
Sharon loved spending time with family and having the house full of children and grandchildren. The Simpsons traveled to see family and attended countless grandchildren’s dance recitals, musical performances, baseball, football, basketball and soccer games over the years. Sharon was an avid reader and loved crossword puzzles and word games. The Simpson grandkids do New York Times crosswords, play competitive Boggle and have fabulous children’s book collections thanks to Grandma Simpson.
Sharon is survived by her four sons Jonathan of Herndon, VA, Chris (Judy) of Prior Lake, MN, Nate (Jennifer) of Grand Rapids, MI and Josh (Wendy) of Mountain Brook, AL; 13 grandchildren Kyle (Becky) Simpson, Caroline (Matt) Scarborough, Kayla (Justin) Simon, Caitlin (Michael) Lucado, Chase (Victoria) Simpson, Ben (Abby) Simpson, Amanda, Ross, Will, Molly, Graham, George, and Caeden Simpson; six great grandchildren Joel and Palmer Simon, Walker and Margot Simpson, Lucy Simpson, and Sebastian Scarborough; and niece Shari Halpern (Peter Drexler) of New York City.
She is preceded in death by her husband John Simpson (2018) and daughter-in-law Nancy Simpson (2022).
A celebration of Sharon’s life will be held on the Au Sable River this summer.
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