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Kathie Simpkins

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. -- City Administrator Kathie Sue Simpkins, 51, of East Prairie died Sunday, July 16, 2006, at her home, following an inspirational, hard-fought battle against cancer.

She was born April 2, 1955, in Cairo, Ill., daughter of Earl D. and Mary Alice Furlong Simpkins.

She chose to spend her life in her hometown, where she was a 1973 graduate of East Prairie High School. In 1978 she graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, where she majored in business administration/marketing management.

Immediately after graduating from the university, she assumed the position as city clerk of East Prairie, a post she held from June 1, 1978, to March 17, 1980, when she became city administrator. During her tenure she was instrumental in securing and administering more than $12 million in state and federal grants for the city.

Responsible for the day-to-day management of her "town," Ms. Simpkins also was instrumental in securing funding for Susanna Wesley Family Center. She was involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Missouri City Managers Association, and was a member and past chairman of the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission.

She served on the Missouri Economic Development Council and Workforce Investment Board of Southeast Missouri. She was a member and secretary for both the Mississippi County Industrial Development Authority and Mississippi County Port Authority. She was a past board member of Cotton Boll Area Girl Scout Council and was awarded the Thanks Badge, the highest honor given to an adult volunteer.

She was a member of First Baptist Church, East Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and Mississippi County Interagency/Caring Communities Council. She was honored as East Prairie Woman of the Year Feb. 12, 2005, when she was cited for her dedication and devotion to her parents, friends, co-workers and hometown.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by five "special" cousins, Paula Byassee, James Furlong, Betty Archie, Mickey Abner and Stephen Abner of East Prairie, and a dear friend, Dr. Jimmy Dale Heath.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. today at Shelby Funeral Home, with the Rev. George White, pastor of First Baptist Church; State Rep. Lanie Black and Dr. Jimmy Heath officiating. Burial will be in East Prairie Memorial Park Cemetery.

Serving as pallbearers will be Joe Garner, Danny Lafferty, Bruce Adkinson, Gary Grogan, Jamie Jackson, Ray Givens and Danny Wheatley. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Heath, Steve Secoy, Mike Bryant, Lonnie Thurmond and Gene Ditto.

A memorial fund has been established at First Security State Bank in East Prairie.