John Abernethy Simpson

1936 - 2021


John Abernethy Simpson passed away peacefully after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease on April 6, 2021, at the age of 84 in Claresholm, Alberta. His wife Catherine of 57 years was by his side. 


He was a loving and devoted husband to Catherine Jessie Simpson and adoring father (Durdle) to Janet Catherine Rosenthal and Mary Louise Friedrich (and Jason). World’s best Papa (Papa Shooter) to Matthew David Rosenthal, Joshua John Rosenthal, and Mason John Friedrich. 


John Simpson, born in Toronto, Ont., graduated with a Forestry degree from the University of Toronto and enjoyed a long career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The highlight of his career was as District Manager of Algonquin Park, where he truly was at home on the lakes and in the forest. After retiring, John and Catherine moved out west to Stavely, AB, where he roamed the range like the cowboy he was in his heart. He loved the outdoors and competing in Cowboy Action Shooting. 


John made an impact on everyone he met in his life with his kindness and humour. He was always known as an honest and loving, true gentleman. The world was a better place with him in it. 


John’s family would like to thank the caring personnel at both the Claresholm Hospital and Willow Creek Care Centre. There will be a private family ceremony held and a memorial later in the summer back in Muskoka, Ontario for John. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Claresholm Health Foundation or charity of your choice. Condolences may be forwarded to the family at

“Happy Trails to you… until we meet again.”

Plant a tree in memory of John by clicking here.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.


A service summary is not available

An environmentally-friendly option

Zentner Funeral Homes

4079 First Street West, Claresholm, AB

Tribute Wall

Share a memory of John Abernethy Simpson
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Candle
  • Sentiment
Plant a tree in memory of John
An environmentally-friendly option

5 trees planted in memory of John


There is 1 photo available in the gallery

Doreen, Bill, Ken, Karen, Steve Skorenky and families

April 13, 2021 6:20 PM

Cathy, Janet, and Mary,

Our families have many happy memories together.
We are blessed by your continued friendship.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Doreen, Bill, Ken, Karen, Steve Skorenky and families

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of John Abernethy Simpson

Jane and Richard Hanlan

April 25, 2021 11:30 AM

To Cathy, Janet and Mary
You are in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear of John’s passing. 
We have so many happy memories of our times together in Pembroke.
We regret that we have lost touch over the last years. Sending love and  hugs to you Cathy. Will try to get in touch again soon. ❤️❤️❤️

Pat Mullett

April 20, 2021 6:20 PM

Clare and I have so many happy occasions shared with your family.....weddings, anniversaries, friendships...and loosely related cousins.  My parents, Hal and Peggy King, considered you  among their closest and dearest friends.  I'm sorry for your loss. 

Laura Kollenberg

April 19, 2021 9:45 AM

So many memories of time with the Simpsons when they lived on Cache Lake!
My dad felt that John was our best ally in the lease issue. He died last year and we had his funeral just last weekend. Hope that he and John are walking wooded trails together.
Laura Beauprie Kollenberg.

Jim Moran

April 13, 2021 3:26 PM

Boy, the memories. Taught me Silviculture at the Ontario Forest Technical School (Dorset). Worked for John in Algonquin Park and again in Sudbury. Always a pleasure. Cathy, Joan and I will never forget those wonderful days.

Plant a tree in memory of John

An environmentally-friendly option Plant memorial trees
© 2021 Zentner Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy