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Published: Sunday, 5/29/2005

Williams County man owned store

BRYAN - Stephen J. Simpson, a former factory supervisor who rented apartments in Bryan and had once owned the Lake Seneca Store and the former Rising Sun Cycles shop, died Friday in Medical University of Ohio Medical Center, Toledo.

He was 63 and suffered a heart attack, his daughter Lindsey Simpson said.

Mr. Simpson was employed at the former Mohawk Tools Inc. in Montpelier, Ohio, for about 30 years. He started work there after leaving Montpelier High School and remained until the factory closed in the early 1990s.

About the time Mohawk closed, Mr. Simpson bought Lake Seneca Store, a convenience store and snack shop on Lake Seneca, west of Pioneer, Ohio, in Williams County.

He lived in the store building and kept the shop open seven days a week, operating it on his own much of the time, although he had an employee for a while.

In the 1990s, he owned and operated Steve's Apartments, managing between four and 11 apartments in Bryan, his son John said. He enjoyed woodworking and used such skills to maintain and renovate the apartments himself.

His motorcycle shop grew out of his hobby of motorcycle racing. It was mainly a repair shop, but also sold parts and Mopeds from the 1970s to the 1980s. Mr. Simpson, who operated the shop while he was employed at Mohawk, typically had one or two full-time employees; his son, who was then a child, helped out.

Mr. Simpson was a lifelong resident of Williams County. He was the only child of Charles Simpson, a night watchman, and his wife, Irene, of Montpelier.

He enjoyed bird watching and garage sales and was active in the National Rifle Association.

Surviving are his son, John; daughters, Rhonda Stewart, Carol Penrod, and Lindsey Simpson; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation and services will be private. The Wilson-Geesy Funeral Home of Montpelier is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to the National Rifle Association or a charity of the donor's choice.

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