Writing Clerical 07


David Simpkins

September 9, 1947 ~ February 23, 2018 (age 70)

David A. Simpkins, age 70 of Folden Township, Minnesota died unexpectedly at his home Friday, February 23, 2018.

Dave left behind a lot of family, friends, and unfinished projects when he died suddenly on February 23. Born to June (Olson) Simpkins in Watertown, S.D., on September 9, 1947, Dave grew up in Minneapolis and died in Vining, Minn., on the farm where he spent his summers as a child with his beloved grandparents, Clarence and Hilda Olson, and later built his dream home. He graduated from Wayzata High School in 1965, from Dunwoody in 1967, and joined the army, where he took advantage of every opportunity to advance in rank, education, and leadership skills. The GI Bill took him through journalism school at the University of Minnesota. He took up photography in the army and never stopped studying and practicing the art, incorporating it into a successful career as a newspaper publisher. Dave invested his time, money and ingenuity in every town he adopted.

In Elbow Lake, he founded the Sodbuster newspaper and later published the Grant County Herald, making it the first weekly newspaper west of the Mississippi to use computers and desktop publishing. Ever an enthusiastic Norwegian, he sparked the birth of the annual Flekkefest there. In Sauk Centre he published the Sauk Centre Herald and later developed a partnership with his employees, going on to establish Star Publications, which publishes the Dairy Star, Sauk Centre Herald, Melrose Beacon, Albany Enterprise, Sauk Rapids Herald, Benton County News, and Country Acres. He also transformed Minnesota Bike Trails into the Minnesota Trails Magazine and served as president of the Lake Wobegon Trails Association. In Sauk Centre, Dave was most proud of helping to establish a community foundation and to save the Carnegie library, and of bringing internet access to town. Over the years, Dave became an expert on Sauk Centre native son Sinclair Lewis. He spoke honoring the author in NYC, SC, and on television, and was completing a book based on the author's childhood diaries.

Dave is survived by his wife, Linda; sons Eric (Allison) Sharkey Simpkins of Minneapolis, and Michael Simpkins (Megan Feuerherd) of Gladstone, OR, and granddaughters "the Grand Adorables"; by his sisters, Connie Simpkins and Robin Alaryan of Plymouth, MN, and many cousins he considered close family.

He was preceded in death by his mother, June (Olson) Simpkins; ex-wife, Roberta (Wilson) Simpkins; brother, James Simpkins; and sister, Bonnie Koursh.

Inurnment of his cremated remains will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 2nd in Folden Lutheran Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sauk Centre Community Foundation. Online memorials can be made via www.communitygiving.org/donateand list SCACF Dave Simpkins in the memo. Mailing address: SCACF, 1601 Hwy 12 East, Suite 9, Willmar MN 56201.

Arrangements are provided by Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Sauk Centre, MN.

Previous Events

Thursday, March 1, 2018


4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
First Lutheran Church ~ Sauk Centre

304 Elm St S
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Memorial Service
Friday, March 2, 2018



10:30 AM
First Lutheran Church ~ Sauk Centre

304 Elm St S
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

A gathering of family and friends will be held one hour prior to service.


Cemetery Details




Folden Lutheran Cemetery

18692 500th Avenue
Vining, MN 56588


Star Tribune Article


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