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Date of Passing: Nov 10, 2020

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On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, Leonard Angus Simpson died peacefully, at his home in Pinawa, surrounded by his family.
Len is survived by his wife Judith and his three children, Jane (Brad), Andrew (Susan) and Richard (Kristen), his precious grandchildren, Rhiannon, Josh, Alaina, Erik, Hayden, Niah and Nathan, and his sisters-in-law, Sian and June. He was predeceased by his parents, Wesley Simpson and Kathleen Simpson, and his brother David.
Len was born in Vancouver, BC and studied at the University of British Columbia. He graduated with a B.Sc. (Physics) followed by an M.Sc. in Metallurgy. While at university he joined the University Navy Training Division and enjoyed ocean-going adventures and made many lifelong friends. Following graduation, he worked at the General Electric Labs in Schenectady, New York before moving to the U.K. to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Wales, Swansea. It was there he met his future wife Judith. In 1968 the next big move was to the Whiteshell Laboratories in Pinawa to pursue research in material science. Len remained at the Whiteshell Labs, in various research and managing positions, including Director of the Reactor Safety Research Division, until his retirement in 1996. The highlight of his time at AECL was working with the scientists and technicians in his division. They were some of the most brilliant and innovative people he had ever come across.
Following his retirement, he became the mayor of Pinawa and spent eight years carefully guiding the town of Pinawa through the decommissioning negotiations with Atomic Energy of Canada.
His passion was sailing on Lake of the Woods, and he, Judith and Jane, Andrew and Richard spent many years enjoying the lake and the friendship of other sailors. In 1995 Len was diagnosed with prostate cancer and spent the next 25 years managing his illness but at the same time living life to the fullest. His strength has impressed many, especially his family. He loved opera, the Jets, cross-country skiing and living in Pinawa. Most of all he loved his wife, his children and his grandchildren. We will miss him so much.
Len was grateful for the compassionate care he received from Dr. Czaykowski, Dr. Bruneau, Dr. Papetti and the Pinawa Cancer Clinic. His favourite charity is CancerCare Manitoba.
Celebrations of his life will be held when all is calm, and our lives can start again.

Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me
And may there be no moaning of the bar
As I put out to sea.

& CREMATORIUM, Beausejour
204-268-3510 or MB Toll Free 1-877-776-2220

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 21, 2020

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Simpson family on the loss of Len. Growing up in Pinawa, I first knew Len as Mr. Simpson, father to Jane, Andrew and Richard and mostly saw him at the Tennis Club and several tournament BBQs. However, I got to know Len much better when I started working at AECL during my graduate degrees and later when I was hired into the Reactor Safety Division. We had many good conversations not only about my research work but about R&D management and the future of the nuclear industry. I admired his resolve to push back the efforts to close the Whiteshell Labs and how stood up for the employees. I consider him one of my mentors and many of his guiding words are with me to this day. - Posted by: Darryl Dormuth (Colleague and former Pinawa resident) on: Nov 24, 2020

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