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Mary Simpson--Maryphyl

 
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 9/27/2013, 6:22 pm    Post subject: Mary Simpson--Maryphyl Reply to topic Reply with quote

Very sad news:
AZH member Mary Simpson "maryphyl" lost her life in Grand Canyon this week, at mile 209, in a boating accident. She was a long-time Grand Canyon backpacker and river runner. http://www.arizonahikers.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=19

I will copy and paste some of the comments I've seen around the web:

From Grand Canyon Private Boaters Assn:
GCPBA RiverNews 09.27.13 - Our Friend "Mary Phyl" Simpson
It is with great sadness we report the passing of our friend, river runner and hiker Mary Simpson of Flagstaff, Arizona in a place she loved and with the people she loved, her family - at Granite Park, Mile 209 in a boating accident. Our hearts go to her family and her husband Robert - high school sweethearts.
The National Park Service will make a formal announcement shortly.
For GCPBA: Richard Martin

From her daughter:
To any who haven't yet heard, my mama, Mary Phyl, is gone. She was in the canyon with my father and brother. They flipped the boat. She died of hypothermia before they could get her out. She had emphysema, with the lack of oxygen she didn't have the strength to pull herself out and her body couldn't keep itself warm. She knew it was a risk. She wanted to go anyway. She was in her very favorite place in the world in the arms of the man who has loved her since she was a girl of 13. There is a hole in my heart the size of the Grand Canyon.

From the Park Service:
Grand Canyon, Ariz. On Wednesday, September 25 at approximately 1:00 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a call with a report of a deceased 67 year old female on the Colorado River within Grand Canyon National Park at River Mile 209.

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service in coordination with the Mohave County Medical Examiner and an autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death. Pending family notifications the identity of the victim is being withheld, once notifications are made the deceased's identity will be released. No further information is available at this time.
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bigfoot





Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 64
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 9/27/2013, 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Sad news....May she rest in peace! Sad
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beckett





Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Posts: 1066

PostPosted: 9/27/2013, 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Thank you for letting us know. Sounds like she left this world surrounded by many things and people she loved. God bless her.
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Hikngrl
Canyoneering is my 'Happy Place'




Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 5578
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

God bless her family in this time of loss. Sounds like she was where she wanted to be, doing what she loved. I pray I am so blessed when it is my time. Thanks for letting us know Elizabeth.
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azbackpackr
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Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I did remember she liked this website.
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Hikngrl
Canyoneering is my 'Happy Place'




Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 5578
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

And we love her.... Sad
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azbackpackr
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Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

So tragic, really a shame.

All the boaters are saying the raft probably flipped in the hole in 209 rapid, but the boaters all know that hole is very easy to avoid, so maybe they are wrong, and maybe it happened at a different spot. The river may have been rearranged a bit due to the flash flooding over the past months. A friend of mine was through there two weeks ago and said that there was no problem at all with that rapid, it was as expected.

The water is not very cold way down at 209, either. But her health was not very good and that is why the water and shock of flip and immersion, and the exertion of trying to self-rescue, etc., would have been dangerous for her.
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oliverr99





Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 632
Location: Glendale

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Awww I am sorry to hear about this news.
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"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" -- Dr. Seuss
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azhiker96





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1419

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Sad news. My prayers go out to her family.
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azhiker96





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1419

PostPosted: 9/28/2013, 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Sad news. My prayers go out to her family.
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Trishness
The Snake Charmer




Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 2530
Location: Apache Jct, AZ

PostPosted: 9/30/2013, 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

She will be missed by all. Sad
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 9/30/2013, 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

This is from Mary's daughter, Janet, courtesy of Tom Martin:
I hope that this post will show on my dad's wall and my mom's as well as my own. I want to update folks on how my dad is doing. I think that most of our near and dear know that my mom died of hypothermia when their boat flipped in the Grand Canyon on the next to last day of their trip. Her emphysema had been problematic but not disabling when they had planned this trip last May. By August she had suffered a very significant decline in function. There was no doubt that she was taking a real risk by going, but she had planned and she had packed and she would not be dissuaded from going on what she knew would be her last river trip. My brother was their rower on the trip. They had anticipated that when they got off the mountain and onto the river that the lower elevation would give my mother more energy as it always had before but this time she wasn't able to do any of the day hikes.

When the boat flipped, all three of them grabbed ropes on the boat but my mom did not have the strength to pull herself up. My father was trying to help her but after about fifteen minutes in the water her eyes rolled up and she let go. My father grabbed her and as they both had life vests he was able to keep her head out of the water but he could not get them to shore. She was gone but he could not let her go. Kenny got to shore and frantically tried to get downstream where he hoped my father was still alive. He knew my mom was gone. Where the shore line cut in he did not go around but jumped into the current, trying to catch the eddies to get to the other side, which is insanely dangerous. A boat from another trip picked him up and took him downstream where he found my father and mother, finally ashore. His quote was "I have never been so relieved in my life to see that gray head." I came so profoundly close to losing them all that I cannot help but be extremely grateful to have Kenny and my dad.

So to my dad. The first few days were really rough, but we are so lucky that we all live here in Flagstaff; three kids, six grandkids, all here. We have pulled in tight. We have put silly numbers of people around my dad's kitchen table the last few nights. We did most of our heavy crying on Friday. Yesterday was easier; today my dad and I got out of the house and did the two mile loop of urban trail right above his house. It was just beautiful. Then we took KC and Celeste to Thorpe Park and let them run while we had Macy's coffee. Dad has Kenny and Tiffany, Dominic, KC, Celeste and Grandma in the house. When he needs time for himself, he has a big quiet room, but the house itself is full of life. KC and Celeste are so good, so sweet. It is hard to hold onto pain when they are demanding that life go on.

My mom and dad would have had their fiftieth wedding anniversary October 5th. He has been part of a couple for more than fifty years. He will be finding life anew over the next few years and I think he will come to enjoy the challenge over time. We are working out plans for the service for my mama and will keep you posted.

We are so very grateful for the love and support. It has meant a great, great deal. We are getting our feet underneath ourselves and coming up for air. Thanks for the love, all of you.
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wanderingsoul





Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 2285
Location: Gilbert AZ

PostPosted: 10/2/2013, 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Great sadness was felt reading this post.
My heart and prayers go out to all the family and friends.
I remember several of her posts and she was always so upbeat about hiking.

Having family with you at this time is precious and helps more than you can imagine. As time passes may your hearts heal and allow you to reminisce and remember her just as you knew her

She will be missed Crying or Very sad
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chihiggs





Joined: 03 Jan 2003
Posts: 565
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: 10/2/2013, 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
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GeorgAz





Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 815
Location: Scottsdale

PostPosted: 10/30/2013, 8:32 am    Post subject: Maryphil Reply to topic Reply with quote

Prayers to family and friends. Didn't know her well, but she was a trooper and loved her life and the outdoors. May she rest in peace and love.
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