Family honours Windsor war veteran during his funeral

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered to celebrate the life of Tom Simpson, a Windsor war veteran during his funeral Thursday. Simpson received the Distinguished Service Medal for spotting a U-boat during the Second World War.

Tom Simpson was 95

Tom Simpson was one of only 114 World War II vets to receive the honour of the Distinguished Service Medal. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Tom Simpson always told his family he wasn't afraid of the enemy, he was afraid of the sea.

That fear, though, didn't stop him from saving hundreds of lives when he spotted the snorkel of a German U-boat while working as a radar operator during the Second World War.

Within an hour, the U-boat was sunk. Although Simpson was later honoured with the Distinguished Service Medal, he never considered himself a hero.

Simpson died on Jan. 28. He was 95.

Tom Simpson, right, received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1946. (Submitted by Ronald Simpson)

Family, friends and former colleagues, on Thursday, gathered to celebrate his life with songs and memories during his funeral.

"He fought for the rights and liberties we have today," said Simpson's daughter, Janet. "He was greatly loved by family and was a great guy."

After serving in the war, Simpson spent more than 30 years as a television technician and worked as a border control guard.

Along with funeral guests, officers from the Canada Border Services Agency formed an honour guard.

Judy Young, another of Simpson's daughters, recalled how difficult it had been for her father when his wife Florence Lemieux died.

Despite their sadness at his passing, Simpson's family wrote in his obituary there was some comfort in knowing the couple was reunited.

"They are dancing the jitterbug together now," it read.