Robert and Jelaire Simpson
St. George Temple Visitors* Center and Historic Sites Mission
Feb. 15, 1995 to Feb. 15, 1997
For the first five years of my life Salt Lake City was home. The next 40 years, home base was So. Cal. Then it was back to Salt Lake in 1961 when the call came to serve the Church full time. Those growing-up years were carefree and lots of fun. We lived in Venice, California and surfing at Venice Beach was my favorite thing. I played baseball and football in High school and College--even thought about baseball as a professional career, but answered a Mission Call to New Zealand instead.
Following the mission, Jelaire Chandler caught my eye and became the light of my life. We have had four beautiful children (three living). My livelihood was with the Telephone company. There was plenty of time for church work as stake mission president, stake MIA pres., ward bishopric, high counselor and seminary teacher.
We were then called to preside over the New Zealand Mission with the family for 3 years. From that call came a call that would change our life--a call as 1st counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, then as an Assistant to the Twelve, followed by the First Quorum of Seventy. These assignments took us in all directions and practically in every corner of the world. Our most spiritual years were while serving as Pres. and Matron in the Los Angeles Temple.
I was born in Ogden, Utah and my parents chose a family name, Jelaire, for their first-born. At the tender age of 3, we moved to So. Cal. We put down our roots in Inglewood and upon High School graduation I attended UCLA. These were happy years: Gleaner Girl president, queen of the gold and green ball, dating a variety of fellows both members and non-members and having a good time on the beach at Balboa Island, where our family went for a month every summer. One evening at MIA, I was introduced to a returned missionary from New Zealand. This led to some serious dating and a diamond on Christmas Eve and six months later a wedding in the Mesa, Ar. Temple. World War II dominated the next 3 years, also the arrival of our first child (a son), who was raised for the first two years by a war widow. Finally that glorious reunion when "daddy" returned from Egypt at last. Our first brand new home was, indeed, a dream come true. Then after 3 more children and lots of church and community involvement, it happened---off to New Zealand with a short 3 weeks notice to preside over the mission there for three years. To suddenly become "mom" to 150 missionaries in my mid-thirties at first was difficult but it turned out to be one of my most rewarding experiences and truly a preparation in the Lord*s own way for what lay ahead. With Bob gone a great deal, it has given me opportunity to work in all the auxiliaries of the church, as a seminary teacher and in the social services adoption program.
The assurance of an eternal family and faith in a living Prophet has been our anchor in life. We love each other beyond expression and look forward to a continuing friendship with each of you in the coming years and in eternity. We love you!
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