Sherwood Lyle “Woody” Simpson, was born December 31, 1927 in Pasadena, CA, the only child of Florence Sherwood and Richard Lyle Simpson, and passed away peacefully on February 26 in Mission Viejo, surrounded by family. He spent his early years living in East Pasadena, then moved with the family to their new home in San Marino, and attended what was then the South Pasadena/San Marino High School. A member of the Class of 1946, he was a member of the Scholarship Society and the Varsity Basketball and Football Teams.
Sherwood attended UCLA, where he received his B.S. in Engineering, was a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering honorary, and was named the top Engineering student at graduation. He was active in the Naval ROTC program, was a member of Conning Tower and Scabbard and Blade, and was also named the top Naval ROTC student. He was an active member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, and played on and captained UCLA’s first Rugby team. He was a member of the varsity football team, and, as a senior, won the N.N. Sugarman Award for Best Team Spirit and Scholarship. Several years ago, he was the first inductee into the UCLA Rugby Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation from UCLA in 1950, Sherwood was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps (“SeaBees”), and was stationed in Oxnard, CA, on Guam, and Bainbridge, MD. He coached naval football teams in each location, and left the Navy as a Lieutenant in 1953. Following his 3-year tour in the Navy, Sherwood attended the Harvard Business School, where he was awarded a two-year scholarship as the Outstanding Engineering entrant. He received his M.B.A. in 1955, and was a member of the Century Club, the Far West Club, and helped coach the Harvard College football and rugby teams.
His professional career began at Thompson Products, then Waste King Technical Products Division. He then worked for Hughes Aircraft, and Hughes Semi-conductor Division, before being hired by Ekco Products as General Manager of their divisions in Tacoma, WA, Toronto, Canada, and Canton, OH. In 1966, Sherwood moved his family back to Southern California, purchased Flexco, Inc., an aerospace manufacturing company, which he owned until 2004. For several years, he also owned Stylewood, Inc., a manufacturer of oak furniture.
In 1956, Sherwood married Jean Isabelle Cowan. They are the parents of four children: Robert (Sarah), Sheryl Hendrickson (Dale), Catherine Farrell (Curtis), and Marilyn Wright (Bill). They are the grandparents of fourteen grandchildren. As a family, they have enjoyed vacationing together in Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and Europe. The Simpson family had lived in Westwood, Palos Verdes Estates, Tacoma, WA, Toronto, Canada, and Canton, OH prior to moving to San Marino in 1966. Sherwood and Jean lived there until their move to Orange County in 2010.
Next to family and travel, Sherwood’s greatest pleasures came from his involvement in the Boy Scouts, and he was a registered Scouter for over 60 hears. As a youth, he earned the Eagle rank in 1943, and was a Quartermaster in the Sea Scouts. Sherwood spent many weekends and several summers on the staff at Council camps, including Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island. He served as Scoutmaster of San Marino Troop 360 from 1967-1973. During that period, Troop 360 was named the Top Troop in 1971 and 1972 from all troops sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was Scoutmaster of the Tournament of Roses Eagle Scout Troop in 1976. As a Scoutmaster, his troop produced 25 Eagle Scouts.
In 1973, Woody took his troop to the 1973 National Jamboree, and in 1980 took a troop on a European Scouting Friendship Tour for BSA’s International Division. He was on National Jamboree Staffs in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1989. Active on the San Gabriel Valley Council Board of Directors for over 35 years, Woody served in many leadership capacities. He was the recipient of the Council’s Silver Beaver Award in 1973, and was honored as a Silver Antelope by the Western Region in 1985. In 2000, he received the prestigious Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. His most recent honor came in 2010, when he was named to the National Boy Scouts of America Hall of Fame. As a Scoutmaster, his troop produced 25 Eagle Scouts.
An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Woody served as a Bishop in Tacoma, Washington and was on the High Council in the Toronto, Cleveland and Pasadena Stakes. He was a former member of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma Kiwanis Club, a Director of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, and a longtime member of the San Marino City Club.
Sherwood, a loving husband, father and grandfather, is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jean, his four children and fourteen grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 11 AM (viewing at 10 AM) at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 770 N. Sierra Madre Villa, Pasadena, California. (Scout uniforms optional.) Donations in Sherwood’s memory may be made to the San Gabriel Valley Council BSA at 3450 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, the Scout council of your choice, or the Missionary Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.