Webb Simpson’s father, Sam Simpson, died on November 26, 2017. According to Golf Digest, Sam was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, and passed away at a hospice facility surrounded by family. Webb’s mother, Debbie, noted why the form of Parkinson’s is so difficult.
“The double whammy,” Debbie told Golf Digest. “Parkinson’s and dementia. It’s very hard to diagnose.”
Web MD notes the disease starts by impacting body movement, and later effects the mind.
Lewy bodies are clumps of protein that can form in the brain. When they build up, they can cause problems with the way your brain works, including your memory, movement, thinking skills, mood, and behavior. These problems can keep you from doing everyday tasks or taking care of yourself, a condition called dementia.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is one of the most common types of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease. It usually happens to people who are 50 or over.
According to Walter Magazine, Sam was the co-CEO of a Raleigh real estate firm called Prudential York Simpson Underwood. Sam had a major impact on Webb’s life introducing him to golf and even his wife, Dowd Simpson.
“I hear his voice constantly,” Webb told Golf Digest. “One thing he preached was finish strong no matter how you’re doing. Keep persevering.”
Webb headed into the final round of the 2018 PLAYERS Championship with a healthy lead. It would be a significant victory for Webb as it happens to be Mother’s Day, and it would be his first tournament win since the death of his father. Sam was the first person to meet Dowd, and offered her $100 to go on a date with his son. The two did not end up meeting that night, but Webb was able to track her down months later. Wake Forest Magazine detailed how Sam played matchmaker for his son.
The love story unfolds like a screenplay for a Hollywood romantic comedy. “I was at a party in Raleigh for Maggie when Webb’s father, Sam, walked up to me and said, ‘I’ll pay you $100 if you’ll take my son out,’ ” Dowd recalls. The Wake Forest theatre major quipped: “If he’s half as cute as you, I’ll do it for free.”
Dowd and Webb never met that night, but a couple of months later Webb thought he had spotted this mystery girl at a party (based on descriptions from his father, he was on the lookout). Sure enough, it was Dowd. Their relationship started out as bantering in the dorm room with friends, then progressed to dating as a full-fledged couple. And yes, says Dowd, Webb’s father paid up the $100. The young couple used it for a steak dinner at Ryan’s, their favorite restaurant.
Webb has his father to thank for picking up golf and meeting his wife. Webb’s mother, Debbie, noted Sam also helped Webb develop into the kind of person golf fans know today.
“He learned the integrity, he learned the honesty, he learned the sportsmanship from these men and his daddy,” Debbie told Walter Magazine. “He learned how fun the golf game could be, but he learned to want to win.”
Golf has always been a way for the Simpson family to bond. Prior to his death, Sam noted his wife did not care if he was golfing as long as Webb was on the course, too.
“Debbie didn’t care how much golf I played, as long as I was out playing with Webb,” Sam told Walter Magazine.
Source: Heavy Sports