Family Login:

Ferris Arthur "Art" Simpson, Jr.

Obituary for Ferris Arthur "Art" Simpson, Jr.

October 4, 1932 - July 30, 2016
Foster City, California | Age 83


Ferris Arthur "Art" Simpson Jr. died at his home in Foster City, California on July 30, 2016.
Art was born in Dallas, TX on October 4, 1933. He grew up in the Dallas area; in his formative years he was active in the Boy Scouts, attaining membership in the Order of the Arrow and earning his Eagle Scout rank. While in scouting, he learned about astronomical telescope making, planting the seeds for what would become his lifelong career. He graduated from North Dallas High School. Attending the University of Texas at Austin, he studied architecture. He lived for a time in Massachusetts, and took courses in contract law at Boston University. He transferred credits to UT Austin, where he graduated with a BS degree in Mathematics. A lifelong learner, he also studied at Northeastern and the College of San Mateo.

Art found employment at optical firms in Dallas, and at Itek Optical Systems of Lexington, MA, where he met and married his wife, Marilyn. He took several jobs at optical firms in California; he was an optical engineer and project manager. He joined Lockheed Martin for a sustained stay, retiring in 1999. He worked on a large astronomical telescope project which was a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and a Russian firm which he visited.

Art's hobbies included chess, which he learned at an early age from his grandfather, William Dent, and he later played in tournaments. He built several astronomical telescopes, and was an accomplished sailor of Flying Scot sailboats, both in Boston Harbor, MA, and Tomales Bay, CA. He was a past commodore of the Inverness Yacht Club, where he regularly invited the Small Boat Racing Association to a regatta. Over 100 boats typically participated. He won the best in regatta in 1978.

He also was a member of the US Boomerang Association, and an avid Spelunker. He was an excellent whistler, asked more than once to accompany piano players, and an accomplished 5-string banjo and guitar player; he could not only play the banjo – he and a friend built one, too. His creative capabilities continued throughout his life: at the time of his passing, he was building a wooden boat by hand.

Art is survived by his beloved wife, Marilyn; his brother, William Dent Simpson (and his wife, Caroline), of Dallas; a niece, Charmaine Simpson (and her husband, Kevin Barnard), a nephew, William Byron Simpson (and his wife, Terri), and by great nieces and nephews, Riley Jane Simpson, Julia Elizabeth Simpson, and Benjamin Arthur Simpson, all of Fort Worth, TX.

Friends are respectfully invited to visit after 11:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2016, at the CROSBY – N. GRAY & CO. Funeral Home, 2 Park Road, Burlingame, where a funeral service will commence at 12:00 noon. Interment will follow at Skylawn Memorial Park.

Make a Memorial Donation

Arrangements By

Crosby-N. Gray & Co. - FD-96

2 Park Road
Burlingame, CA 94010
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number