Fiona Simpson pays tribute to father as Coast mourns
TRIBUTES have begun pouring in following the death of former Sunshine Coast politician Gordon Simpson, led by his daughter and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson.
Mr Simpson, 87, battled prostate cancer for the past eight months, his condition serious enough it prompted Ms Simpson to step down from the Queensland Opposition Shadow Cabinet, though she remained in Parliament as a member.
Ms Simpson paid tribute to her father in a moving Facebook post on Friday, confirming that he had been "promoted into the arms of Jesus" on Wednesday night.
Condolences flowed in from across the Sunshine Coast and beyond, with many offering comfort and prayers to Ms Simpson and her widowed mother Norma.
Karin Nielsen wrote: "I'm so sorry to hear the news Fiona. He was a truly wonderful person. Love to you and your mum at this difficult time".
"Our love, thoughts and prayers for you, your Mum, and all of the family. May you know the peace and love of God's comfort....from members of 'SingSpire Chorus'," wrote Helen Owens.
Debra Qalo said Ms Simpson was "blessed" to have had such a good man as a father.
"I am sorry for you loss. He will be sorely missed," she said.
Frances Windolf said Mr Simpson's fight for Coolum State High School was one that would live on.
"We've been thinking about Gordon this week, as we looked at some photos of the earliest days of Coolum State High School ... how proud he was of his efforts to have the school built - and how valuable it has been to the community for the last 32 years!"
Mr Simpson served as the member for Cooroora from the mid-1970s through to the late 1980s.
The seat at the time covered much of the Sunshine Coast from Teewah Coloured Sands on Noosa North Shore south to the Maroochy River, also taking in parts of the Blackall Range and Imbil.
Ms Simpson praised his accomplishments as a man who fought for the Sunshine Coast, a man who she said helped drive the expansion of the region's national parks, to push for a university and for his fight to transform Nambour Hospital into a major facility.
She then described a man of resilience, driven by innovation and hard work.
"A former wheat and sheep farmer in the rugged and semi-arid Victorian Mallee, Gordon was always an innovator looking for ways to improve things," Ms Simpson said.
"A graduate of Scotch College, Melbourne, and Dookie Agricultural College, he was made an honorary member of the Agricultural Engineering Society in Victoria due to his design and construction of a revolutionary tractor
"He was also made an honorary member of the Grasslands Society for his introduction of a new seed industry.
"In 1969, Gordon and his wife Norma brought their young family of four to Queensland's Sunshine Coast in the search for more opportunities and to be closer to education for their children.
"Gordon was a farmer, undertaking dairy, beef and tropical seed production before sugar cane farming at Yandina.
"He was also a part-time agricultural journalist jointly contributing with his wife, Norma, a rural section for the Nambour Chronicle, one of the predecessor papers for the Sunshine Coast Daily."
Mr Simpson leaves behind his wife of 64 years Norma, and children Bruce, Helen, Jock and Fiona, along with eight grandchildren.
A public memorial for Mr Simpson will be held on May 22, 10am, at Suncoast Christian Church in Woombye.