DEANNA JEAN SIMPKINS passed away on May 8, 2023, at the age of 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. She is survived by her loving husband Lazarus, her three children: Greg, Stephen, and Lisa, and her six grandchildren: Emma, Ara, Logan, Aidan, Kai, and Reese.
Born in Matewan, W.Va., the only child of L.E. Simpkins and Golda Boggs Simpkins, Deanna graduated from Concord University in 1963 with a BSA in Elementary Education. She taught 5th grade in Matewan until she met and married Lazarus on July 16, 1964, in the Matewan United Methodist Church.
Deanna traveled the world with Lazarus, teaching school while he served in the United States Air Force, first at Homestead AFB in Florida, then Tachikawa, Japan, and Bangkok, Thailand before returning to the states at Whiteman AFB in Knob Noster, Mo. In 1967, they settled in Kansas City, Mo., and she began teaching 6th grade science in the Shawnee Mission School District in KC, Kansas.
After her sons were born, Deanna retired from teaching in 1974 before the birth of her daughter Lisa. The family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1977, and she dedicated herself to her family before returning to work, first as a sales representative for the Charles Bridge publishing company, and then in retail, working at Talbot's and other Cincinnati retail institutions until the early 2000s.
Deanna loved traveling, and she decorated her home with art and furnishings from the places she and Lazarus lived and visited together.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Deanna's Memory to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/)
E.C. Nurre Funeral Homes Inc., Amelia, Ohio, is assisting her family with arrangements.