Abt salesman Jim Simpson recently passed away at the age of 64 and was laid to rest over the weekend. Everyone at Abt sends their heartfelt condolences to Jim’s family and his many friends. Here is a remembrance from one of those friends at Abt, Rafael Pena:
My friend and co-worker, Jim Simpson, has passed. I do miss him. He was a quiet guy but we always found something to laugh about. We just had lunch together two days before his passing. Jimmy was a character. You could never win when it came to a conversation that involved politics, religion, or history. He always would stand on what he believed in.
Jim with his friend Rafael
Jim with his friend Joanna
I remember one time we were at lunch, and he was eating an ice cream sandwich (he wasn’t supposed to eat junk food, according to Joanna, a fellow co-worker). Joanna came into the lunch room and saw Jim eating the ice cream, and I never saw him move so fast. He tried to hide the evidence but Joanna knew what was up. I laughed so hard I was crying. Joanna used to bring in an apple each day for Jimmy. She sometimes would bring in lunch for him. She tried to make sure he ate healthy.
It’s hard to pass his desk…I try to not look at his chair…
Man, was he a joker. One time we went to Friday’s for lunch. We sat down and the waiter comes over and introduces himself. “Hi, my name is ____ . What can I get for you guys today?” Jimmy responds, “A free cheeseburger.” Waiter: “Excuse me?” Jimmy: “A free cheeseburger.” The waiter looks at me with a confused look on his face. Jimmy says, “Yes, I want a free cheeseburger. You asked me what you could get for me, and I want a free cheeseburger.”
I can’t hold back the laughter. I start to smile and the waiter catches on. Jimmy looks up and smiles at the waiter. I think the waiter learned his lesson. Be sure to ask the right question, especially if you are a waiter in a restaurant. From then on, every time we went to Friday’s for lunch, the same waiter would wave, smile, and say “Hi.”
Jimmy would always be there if you needed something. If I didn’t have any money for lunch, he would be the first to open up his wallet and give me money. Yes, “give” me money. If I tried to pay it back, he often would not accept it. I learned from him that we just need to be friends and get along with one another. Let’s just help each other out and it might make life in this small world easier for everyone.
That was my friend Jimmy Simpson.
Ken AuApril 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm
Jimmy worked in our department (web sales) for 8 years. I remember the initial day he came and introduced himself. The first thing I thought was “wow look at that hair” I quickly learned that Jim’s sense of humor was as wild as his hair. No matter how consumed he was with his work he always managed to crack a joke or two. Jimmy was hard working and generous. Simply said he was a good man. He will be missed.
Seye his daughterApril 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm
I set back in retrospect and smile, as I remember the smile on his face when people would say to me, “oh you are such a pretty girl” and he would be standing there looking like a cheshire cat, not because of the compliment but because he was waiting on the infamous response, “thank you, I look like my daddy.” I am not sure what tickled him the most, the fact that I said it way into my twenties or the look of shock people had because I said it……..my dad. But I got him back as I got older and his hair got bigger. No matter where we were, strangers or friends, I would always introduce my dad and his hair as separate entities to people. But true to his nature, he would only wear it as a badge of honor.
A special thanks to his ABT family, thanks for all the extended support. Bringing him dinners and fruit, making sure he ate the right things (even if it was someone else’s lunch). Understanding his antics of hiding ice cream or candy bars down on his side because his two little watchdogs would fuss if they found out he was eating them. He really enjoyed the deception but equally loved that fact that people cared. He would blush telling me the stories of his work antics because he was wrong. He was just like a little kid at times, brightening the room with his antics…..It really pleases me to know that he worked with a really great group….love always,
Judith F. RutherfordFebruary 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm
Today I direct dialed Jim’s number at Abt…. it rang and rang.. no answer.
Damn, I thought.. maybe he is off today. So, I called the main number to say that since I could not reach his direct line to leave a voice mail and that I wanted to leave a message to have him call me back. I was told that he had passed away.
Oh my God. How sad. Although I have never met Jim in person, we had numerous telephone conversations and he was always so helpful, so pleasant, with a marvelous sense of humor and, above all, sooo very professional. Jim was my “go to” person at Abt.
Because of Jim and his wonderful help and assistance, I purchased, over the telephone, high ticket items. We joked that although I did not give a damn about a new stove.. my husband wanted a new stove… and I looked at the Abt website and then Jim provided the customer sevice and made the sale. Then, later, I called Jim to say that my husband wanted a refrigerator with an ice-maker, blah, blah, blah. Hmmm.. we also bought three washer-dryer units for our multi-unit building… all items purchased over the telephone with full confidence because of Jim. Jim’s passing is a terrible loss to Abt and to all of the Abt customers fortunate enough to meet Jim… if only over the telephone.
Judith F. Rutherford