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Originally published Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 05:58a.m.

Manford “Gene” Simpson, 89, flew into the wild blue yonder September 29, 2017.

He was born in Depew, Oklahoma and was raised in the Whitaker Orphanage in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Gene was a pilot and retired as a Major with the Air Force after 20 years. He flew during the Vietnam and Korea wars as a jet pilot flying F150’s and many other types of military aircraft, and was stationed in many countries. Gene then got his BSME from ASU, was a flying firefighter, aircraft mechanic, and owned an FBO “Gene’s Flying Service” at the Kingman Airport.

He was also an avid golfer. Gene was active in the Kingman Aero Club, Kingman EAA Chapter, and the Valle Vista Men’s Golf Club.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Patricia, sons, Curtis and Barry Simpson, daughter, Jill Watters, Step-Daughter, Deborah Morawski, and many grand, great and great-great grandchildren.

The memorial will be held October 21 at 11 a.m. at Sutton Memorial Funeral Home, 1701 Sycamore Ave, Kingman, Arizona. Potluck reception will be held at the EAA Hanger, 4560 Flightline, Kingman Airport at 1 p.m.