Allan Simpson

Allan Simpson

Allan set out on his final voyage on February 1st, 2024 after a well lived, eventful, and adventuresome life that began in 1943 in Hamilton.

Predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Blanche Simpson, he will be remembered by his best friend and partner, Diana, his daughter Daphne (Mike Neerhof), and his son Neil (Angela Vanderholst), his brother Brian (Kathy) Simpson, and sister-in-law Judy (Ian) Brown.  A doting grandfather, always interested in the education  and adventures of his six grandchildren, Allan is thankful for the gift of Desmond, Cecilia and Beatrice Neerhof of Fergus, and Ava, Grace and Olivia Simpson of Hanover.

Having been active in the Boy Scout movement in Aldershot, after completing his studies at Waterdown DHS, he pursued studies in modern history, French, and Russian at University of Toronto.  Seeking further language development and adventures, he spent six months hitch-hiking and hosteling in Europe and North Africa, taught French one year in Thessalon, and returned to earn a post-grad degree in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1967.

The decision to pursue life in a small town led to his teaching French in 1968 at what would become John Diefenbaker Secondary School.  Thirty years at JDSS would be interrupted for a one year teacher exchange when he, Diana and young Daphne spent a year in Nantes, France where he taught English.  The urge to travel and forge friendships within our nation led to his organizing JDSS student exchanges with schools in Quebec,ski trips to the Laurentians, and later three student exchanges with France.

Allan was active also on the Board of Managers at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in Hanover.   In his retirement years, he volunteered time on the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  He was on the steering committee which founded the PROBUS club for Hanover area, and played an active role in the club.  Reading, creating stained glass works, and painting in acrylics and oils filled his leisure hours.  Ever grateful to his students and to the town of Hanover for a full life, Allan leaves behind many memories. 

Friends are invited to join the family for a memorial service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (378 10th St, Hanover) on Wednesday, February 7, 2024  at 11:00am.  A celebration of life will follow at 12:30pm -3:30pm at the Hanover Legion (493 8th Ave, Hanover). 

As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the Hanover & District Hospital Foundation or to the Sports & Arts Programs of John Diefenbaker Secondary School.(Please make cheques payable to JDSS) Arrangements entrusted to the care of Mighton Funeral Home. Condolences may be made by visiting

Public Condolences


- Judy scheifele
February 18, 2024

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Allan Simpson, my French teacher from my years at J.D.S.S. Allan was one of my mentors, as I went on to study French at university and become a French teacher like him for thirty years. He was an excellent teacher, always taking time to explain the fine points of a French grammar lesson or explain a passage in a French novel. He also initiated many special activities that added so much to students' high school experience. When speaking recently to my brothers, Ben and Mark Rhody, I found that we each had a vivd memory of a different French exchange trip to Quebec that he organized. Thanks for the many contributions you made to the learning and growth of students at J.D.S.S, Allan. You've earned a peaceful rest.

- Stephen Rhody
February 15, 2024

Diana and family , We were so saddened by the news of Allan's passing .. please accept our sincere condolences. He was a lifetime friend of mine , from Sunday school at East Plains through high school at WDHS , through all the reunions we had over the years . Always smiling , a true gentleman, he will be missed by all who knew him. Looking to the day we meet again . Karen T

- Karen Tigchelaar
February 12, 2024

Dear Diana, Daphne, and Neil, Please accept our sincere condolences. We were so sorry to hear of his death. I was fortunate to have him as a teacher in school, and he helped me greatly. It was so nice for us to see him and you, Diana, when visiting Hanover. He was a kind, considerate, warm, and generous teacher and person, as well as being was a respected and engaged member of the community. You are in our thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, George, Susanna, Zara, and Sebastian Zachariah

- George Zachariah
February 10, 2024

Dear Diana and family,
On behalf of the Butson family, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences. Allan taught with Dad (Barry) and taught both Geoff and I senior French. Later in life, we learned of Allan's wonderful talent of painting and we are proud to have his work hanging in some of our homes. We were deeply moved in 2018, when Allan drove through a snowstorm from Hanover to Woodstock to attend our father's funeral. May fond memories of Allan help you through this difficult time.

- Katherine Butson
February 8, 2024

Diana and family , We were so saddened by the news of Allan's passing .. please accept our sincere condolences. He was a lifetime friend of mine , from Sunday school at East Plains through high school at WDHS , through all the reunions we had over the years . Always smiling , a true gentleman, he will be missed by all who knew him. Looking to the day we meet again . Karen T

- Karen Tigchelaar
February 8, 2024

I had the pleasure of teaching with Allan and Diana at the old JDSS for nearly twenty years and have many fond memories of that time, but my most treasured memory of Allan was the afternoon he came over to dig some lily of the valley plants for some shady ground cover at his home. The plants were growing down at the river outside our log cabin, and Allan was certainly enjoying the day and getting his hands in the soil. He knew so much about gardening and found much happiness in the earth, water, sun and sky. Allan, I think of you now joyfully at one with them and have to smile every time I look at those lilies.

- Gail Pletsch
February 8, 2024

Diana and family
So sorry to hear of your loss . Alan will be missed by so many friends and former colleagues. It was so kind of him to keep in touch and arrange breakfast get togethers for retired JDSS staff .Wayne thoroughly enjoyed those events! We are thinking of you during these difficult times.
Sincerely Betty Duncan and family

- Betty Duncan
February 7, 2024

I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Simpson family. As a former student of Mr. Simpson's (from many years ago), I will always remember Allan as a kind, thoughtful and engaging teacher. My father Wayne Duncan was one of Allan's teaching colleagues at JDSS, and he had the greatest respect for Allan. Mr. Simpson was one of those teachers whose warmth and sincerity always shone through, even during chance meetings in the community years later. I know he will be so sadly missed by his family and friends. With sympathy, Gwen Duncan

- Gwen Duncan
February 7, 2024

Diana, Daphne, and Neil,
I was saddened to learn of Allan's passing. I have many fond memories of Allan from a young age, first around hockey and soccer and then later at school. I remember hearing of his adventures to far off places and then was lucky enough to get to go on one in Grade 11, where he inspired a love of travel and appreciation of other cultures that has lasted to this day.
I'm sorry for the loss you are experiencing. I hope you are comforted by the love and support of your family and friends, and knowledge that Allan enriched the lives of many people.
Matt, Seanna, Madison, and Keala Pickard

- Matt Pickard
February 7, 2024

Our sincerest condolences to Neil, Angie and family. Thinking of you at this difficult time and hope that all the happy memories of a loving father will give you peace and comfort in the days ahead.

- Joan and Neil White
February 7, 2024

Diana & Family, my Sympathy to you & your family. Keith & I were
neighbors when we had our house & had cats when we went for a walk
Keith passed away 1 1/2 years ago.
Thoughts & prayers are with you Diana

- Wilma Dailey
February 7, 2024

Mr. Simpson was such an amazing teacher that I will never forget. I always enjoyed the classroom vibe he maintained. His artwork and JDSS pictures he shared on Facebook were much appreciated.

- Lorne Schinbein
February 7, 2024

Dear Diana, Daphne, Neil and families. Allan's service celebrating his good life will be taking place now so I sit here thinking of the many memories we shared as cousins at various family activities throughout my life. He was always kind and considerate of others and fun to be around. I have his painting of Blue Rocks near Lunenburg NS above my bed so get to say goodnight every night. It is wonderful to read the numerous tributes to Allan from his former students, colleagues and friends in Hanover - a place he loved and was very content in. Wish I'd have had him as my French teacher and I'm sure I'd have had much more success than I did in High School:)). Celebrate a life well lived by someone who contributed in so many ways to his community. Enjoy his many paintings throughout Hanover. I'll miss him but as with you, my memories of him will live on. Love to all, Donnie, Lois and Robyn, Erin and Heather

- Don Scott
February 7, 2024

Allen was an inspirational teacher, a caring colleague and an integral part of our extended JDSS community. He was an extraordinary professional who knew how to manage a class and encourage individuals at the same time. Diana, Daphne and Michael, Neil and Angela and families, may the wonderful memories of times that you have shared flood your memories as you mourn your husband, father and grandfather. He will truly be missed.

- Heather and John Bender
February 7, 2024

Sending my deepest sympathies

Larry Kerr

- Larry Kerr
February 7, 2024

To the whole family. George and I are sending our deepest sympathy. So sorry to hear about Allen. He will be missed.

- George & Ruth Ann
February 7, 2024

I am blessed to have had Mr. Simpson teach me French. To this day I can still remember most of what he taught me through my high school years.
Rest in Peace Mr. Simpson!
(my name was Sighilde Polt)

February 6, 2024

We want to express our sorrow in the passing of Allan Simpson....a son, husband,father and grandfather.He was a true Gentleman, a great Teacher and had great concern for others.Allan never forgot old friends and matter of fact, he ne forgot Waterdown Districk High School and always arranged reunions.Allan and I were friends since childhood in Aldershot....our parents were great friends and we enjoyed many wonderful times together. We kept intouch.Our thoughts and prayers are with you Diana

- Jane Hoddinott
February 6, 2024

Diana and family: Sincere condolences for you loss of an exceptional man. Allan was so many things---- a superb teacher, artist, and wonderful friend. We will miss the times, on his way home, he would turn into our driveway to say hello. All his fellow retirees will miss the "first Wednesday of the month breakfast" at local restaurants he contributed so much to.

- Frank Salem
February 6, 2024

Dear Diana and Simpson family; we were so sad to hear of Allan's passing. I remember vividly Allan as our French teacher, someone with strong language skills and a soft but firm hand on the class. Many years later, through my parents and sister Debbie, we were fortunate to meet Diana and Allan through their church. Again we found Allan to be smiling, upbeat and very sincere. Whether as former students or as contemporary colleagues, we have all lost a great friend and inspiration in Allan.

Carol and Dale Schenk

- Carol and Dale Schenk
February 6, 2024

Daphne, Mike and Family,
May you find comfort in the cherished memories you shared together and in the love that surrounds you.
Our condolences and deepest sympathies.
Much love,
Erin and Scott

- Erin and Scott Gorman
February 6, 2024

Dear Diana and family, I extend to you my deepest sympathies on Allan's passing. He was always a kind instructor in French throughout my years at JDSS, even when I accidentally broke his yardstick from teachers college during a practice run for a class presentation. Despite this unfortunate incident, he and Diana supported me early in my career and we continued to converse on Facebook in recent years, be it the twice in recent times that I let him know that he was being impersonated on Facebook, exchanging coming events between the Presbyterian churches in Normanby and Hanover, or exchanging thoughts at and sometimes about our mutually currently favourite barber. I believe that he was the only teacher to host the class at his home in the evening for movies. I probably have learned to appreciate him more as the years and our respective hair colour have passed. Au revoir Mr. Simpson.

- Kent Charlton
February 6, 2024

Mr. Simpson was truly an inspirational teacher - kind, patient and a true believer in experiential education. The exchange to France he organized left a mark on me that I can't put into words. He inspired a life of travel and what it truly means when one says "languages open doors". My condolences to the family.

- Heather Maxted
February 6, 2024

Dear Diana and family. I was so saddened to read of Allan's passing. Although I had only known Allan for a few years starting with PROBUS, he and I connected as friends and had a deep respect for one another.
Marilyn and I are out of country and will not be back until after the service on Feb 7th.
We send our love and prayers for strength to you and your family at this time.
Brian & Marilyn Ross

- Brian Ross
February 6, 2024

Dearest Daphne, Mike, and all family,
My deepest sympathy in the news of your father's passing. He was a remarkable man and I feel blessed to have known him.
I will be with you in spirit on Wednesday remembering and honouring him. If I could be there in person, I would. Much love and light to you all in this challenging time. - love, Julie

- Julie Cugalj
February 5, 2024

Dear Diana , Neal, Daphne and their families.
Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow on the loss of our dear cousin Allan. We share in your grief and send our love and heartfelt condolences to all the family.
We deeply regret not being able to join you tomorrow as you celebrate the life of our beloved cousin and friend.

Walter, Janet Whynot and Family

- Walter & Janet Whynot
February 5, 2024

Diana, Daphne, Neil and families

I am deeply brokenhearted to hear of Allan's passing.
I pray that each of you tangibly sense God's goodness and presence through this and are overwhelmed by His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). May He sustain you during this time and be your strength.

Stacey Bauman

- Stacey Bauman
February 5, 2024

I always enjoyed running into Allan. His big smile and enthusiasm were infectious. My deepest sympathy and condolences to Diana, Daphne, Neil and families. May the comfort of knowing how many lives he influenced comfort you in your loss.

- Linda White
February 5, 2024

Our sincere sympathy as you mourn the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. He was a kind and caring man. We always enjoyed his posts on Hanover Remembers. Thinking of you at this time.

- Steve and Suzanne White
February 4, 2024

Jenny and I extend condolences to Diana, Daphne, Neil, and families on your loss. Allan was an artist, a true gentleman, and a very fine teacher.
Bruce and Jenny Iserman

- Bruce Iserman
February 4, 2024

Dear Diana & Family,
My condolences for your loss of Allan.
I feel fortunate to have been billeted with "Mr. Simpson" during our French exchange in Victoriaville, Quebec in 1980.
At the time, I thought I was put in the “penalty box”. Little did I know.
Diana, it was a pleasure visiting with you and Allan at your home a few years ago, and I know that it brought joy to my father.
May you find solace in knowing that his spirit lives on in the art he created. For me, his paintings of the Charles Bridge in Prague and Colpy's Bay Sunset, frozen in time on canvas, will forever be a testament to his creative brilliance and the indelible mark he left on those who had the privilege of knowing him.
Geoff Butson

- Geoff Butson
February 4, 2024

I am so saddened to hear of Allen's passing. He was not only a caring teacher, but my mentor and role model throughout high school, which inspired me to follow in his footsteps. I feel blessed to have been a recipient of his kindness and support. My deepest condolences to Diana, Daphne, Neil and the whole family.

- Kim Dawe
February 4, 2024

Diana, Daphne & Mike, Neil& Angela & your families:
You have our sincere condolences. We both had Allan for our French teacher at J.D.S.S. He was a great teacher. His artistic ability was also amazing. It was always good to see his paintings at different locations in town, and when he was a member of the Saugeen Artists Guild. Keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

- Allan and Jackie Penfold
February 3, 2024

Allan was a wonderful gentleman, great scholar, excellent teacher, true leader and a great friend. He will be really missed because it was so great to have him around. All the very best to you Allan. Chantal and Neil.

- Chantal McDiarmid and Neil Coutney
February 3, 2024

Diana, Daphne, Neil & Family,
My sincerest sympathy for your loss of Allan.
It was my pleasure to get to know Allan as a colleague at JDSS. He was highly respected by staff and students.
May all of your cherished and fond memories bring you comfort during this very sad time.
Deb Kaufman

- Deb Kaufman
February 3, 2024

My condolences to Diana, Daphne, Neil and their families. It was an honour to work with Allan at JDSS where he distinguished himself as an extraordinary teacher of French language and culture. (Un professeur très distingué et extraordinare).

- Kathleen Beattie
February 3, 2024

Condolences to Diana and family....he will be truly missed by all who knew him

- Ian Mills
February 3, 2024

I feel privileged to have reunited with Alan at our High School reunions. He was a person of many interests & as Peter Hall mentioned was responsible for keeping in touch with the 1961 class. He helped me organize a hike on the Bruce Peninsula trails which we will never forget. Alan will miss your emails with the photos & comments from our school days. Peter MacLoghlin WDHS 1961 graduating class

- MacLoghlin, Pete & Chick
February 3, 2024

Words cannot express the loss we feel with the passing of Allan, who was a compassionate, caring and understanding friend to all who knew him.

To his family, take strength in one another.

Gale, Aaron and Brock Vessie

- Gale, Aaron and Brock Vessie
February 3, 2024

Our heartfelt sympathy Diana and Family.

- Doug and Gladys Ewart
February 3, 2024

Neil and family.  ​

 I am sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. Please accept my sincerest condolences. Wishing you and your family courage and peace during this time of mourning.

- Brad Watson
February 3, 2024

Diana and family,
As you remember the love, as you mourn the loss, may you celebrate the life. May the healing hands of time and the timeless love of God carry you gently through the coming days. I always enjoyed a little chat with Allan when I did pulpit supply at St Andrews.

- Donna Clark
February 3, 2024

We are thinking of you all at this sad time .Allan was a wonderful man and often a topic in our household as our children went through school .Enjoy your many memories !

- Glen and Brenda Reay
February 3, 2024

The Waterdown District High School Class of 1961 has lost its leader. Allan was the chief organizer for our 40th, 45th, 50th & 55th WDHS Class Reunions. Allan shared memories and communicated with his Classmates on a regular basis over the years forwarding pictures from Grade 1 to Grade 13. We have lost a true gentleman.

- Peter Hall
February 3, 2024

My deepest condolences Diana, Neil and Angela and all your family. May you find comfort and peace at this time of loss, and may you experience great love and care poured out on you from your friends and community.

- Greg Dow
February 3, 2024

Our deepest sympathy to Diana, Daphne, Neil and their families.
Cherish the many beautiful memories you have. It is those memories that will give you strength today and all the tomorrows.

- Joe & Darlene Dietrich
February 3, 2024

Dear Diana and family. My deepest condolences in your terrible loss. Its heartbreaking to lose a loved one I know. Al was a great friend. I knew him all my teaching career and beyond. We played bridge together for over 50 years. Maybe hell catch a game in heaven. I wsh you all the best.
Paul Klassen

- Paul Klassen
February 2, 2024

My heartfelt condolences to Allan's family. I met Allan via Facebook and "Hanover Remembers" and we had some pleasant exchanges. I found him to be so approachable and helpful. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

- Francis-Joseph Gross
February 2, 2024

Allan was a wonderful person and a real fighter. I met Allan a number of years ago through Hanover Legion. Allan was one of the Judges for our Remembrance Day Poster Contest and we continued a friendship through Face Book. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.

Noreen Ellis

- Noreen Ellis
February 2, 2024

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123 10th Street
Hanover, Ontario N4N 1N4
Phone: 519-364-3660
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