George D. Semple, 93, died peacefully on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 of a short illness at his residence. He was with family at the time of his death.
Under the direction of Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, Larkin Chapel, a private family funeral is being arranged. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.
George David Semple, the son of Harley and Olive (Quirk) Semple was born June 25, 1926, in Bronson, Iowa. He was a lifelong resident of Sioux City, graduating from Central High School in 1944.
Immediately after high school George was drafted into the US Navy, where he served as a Signalman in the Western Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Following his military service George attended and graduated from Morningside College earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in 1951.
After his college graduation he spent one year as a student teacher at Central High School. In 1952 he entered the sales profession. His first sales job was with Williams Appliance Store where he served as the manager of the Morningside store.
During his time at Williams he received numerous sales awards. George then moved from Williams to partner with Jack Garvey and opened an appliance store in the shopping area known at that time as the Sunset Plaza. After his time at Garvey appliance,
George moved to selling insurance for companies in Iowa and Nebraska. In 1975 he joined the real estate firm of Grandy/Pratt/Cotton and began a career as a realtor that spanned over five decades.
During that time, he became an independent broker under the name of George Semple Real Estate. George officially retired in November of 2019 at the age of 92. It was once said by a former colleague of his that he sold more real estate on accident than most agents sold on purpose!
On September 8, 1947, George was united in marriage with Grace “Julie” Vogel at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Sioux City. That union blessed them with seven children and 72 years of marriage.
George was a lifetime member of several military veteran organizations including China-Burma-India Veteran’s Association, VFW Post 580. He served as a post commander of VFW Post 580 for several years. He was a retired member of the Greater Sioux City Board of Realtors and National Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers. He was also a long-standing member of the Siouxland YMCA.
George was very active in several substance abuse recovery programs. He served on several committees including the Woodbury County Community Drug Court, a founding member of the Stockyards Group and as Vice President for the Partners for Patriots. He maintained his spiritual life by attending Catholic Mass at the Holy Spirit Retirement Home. Now the memories through the eyes of his children.
Our dad did whatever it took to make sure the bills were paid and food on the table. He was always off “to go see a guy”. We never really knew what that meant or who the guy was, but he knew a cast of characters that seemed to never really have a job! We do know he was a creative marketing guy.
He did all the advertising copy for Williams TV, even in the years long after he left. The man created an ad that worked. Then there were the weekly trips to the stock car and drag races with the kids in tow. He set up an open trailer to sell programs, announce races and NHRA shirts, hats and stickers.
He had a crew that installed house siding that helped financially to raise a family. We heard through the grapevine that he dealt cards and ran a craps game in one of his father’s establishments on the “sharp-end of town” to help pay for his education. There were those long trips to Western Canada with seven kids in the car.
To this day we do not know why he didn’t drop us off in the middle of North Dakota! Maybe it was the Listerine bottle he kept under the front seat. And of course those unforgettable trips to Niobrara, Nebraska and the five star accommodations (You could see at least five stars through the holes in the roof of the cabin).
The memories most cherished are what he did for his fellow man. There were times he would bring home enlisted servicemen who were on a long lay-over at the Sioux City Greyhound Bus station, he gave them a safe place to sleep, my mom would make sure they had a good meal.
The time he spent helping veteran organizations like the VFW and Partners for Patriots through fund-raisers, selling toaster tongs and poppies. He never turned down an opportunity to “carry the message” to the less fortunate. He left a legacy and a mark on a lot of lives.
He was known by his family as “The Grump” a name that was given to him by his grandchildren. They would all say “We love you Grump” He would respond back “I love you more”. And of course anyone who asked how his day was he always responded, “Today is a good day”.
George is survived by his wife, Julie of Sioux City; his children: Tim (Sheri) Semple of Leonardtown, MD; Steven Semple of Dayton, OH; Patrick Harley (Marty) Semple of Madison, WI; Dennis (Nettie) Semple of Sioux City; Don Semple of Cedar Rapids, IA; Katie (Michael) Krause of Sioux Falls, SD; Rob (Gail) Semple of Charlotte, NC; 15 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; siblings Richard (Doris) Semple of Sioux City, Colleen (Lyle) Baker of Sioux City, and Jennifer (Jerry) Siegal of York, PA; and many other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Scott David; a great-grandson, Caleb Semple; a sister, Mary Lou; and a daughter-in-law Clara