‘It was like losing my best friend’: Son remembers father who died from COVID

SPOKANE, Wash. – David Simpson is now just one of 587 people who died from the coronavirus in Spokane County.

“Devastated. It was like losing my best friend, honestly. Me and my dad were very close,” said Clinton Simpson, David’s son.

Clinton Simpson remembers growing up with his dad watching wrestling. It was something passed down in their family.

“As a matter of fact, my oldest said that’s the one thing he’s going to miss the most is watching wrestling with grandpa,” Clinton said.

Sixty-two-year-old David Simpson’s love for his grandchildren spread to others he helped at Durham School Services. He’s been with them as a bus attendant since 2019.

Clinton said his dad just loved being around kids.

“It was a good job and he loved being able to work with all the children all the time… It was the grandparent in him,” he said.

RELATED: Positive COVID tests, exposures force 36 Durham employees into quarantine

David was one of 36 employees on quarantine because of COVID exposure when 4 News Now first reported the outbreak on February 23. His test came back positive on February 22.

Durham School Services, in an investigation, said those exposed to the virus contracted it outside of the workplace.

Following David’s death, the company sent a statement:

“Sadly, we are heartbroken today to learn that one of our team members who was quarantining passed away… Our thoughts and prayers go out to our team member’s family and friends in this very difficult time.”

Spokane Public Schools also issued a statement:

“We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a Durham School Services employee, and our thoughts are with the employee’s family and friends during this very difficult time. Every individual who works with our students plays an important role in the work that we do as a district.”

Clinton told 4 News Now his dad had trouble breathing.

“He just has bad health problems with his lungs. I don’t think his body was able to take it,” he said.

David died on February 27, just five days after getting that positive test result.

Clinton ended up getting COVID, too.

“I was checking on him every single day. I didn’t want this to happen to my dad,” he said.

Now, David won’t be there to watch his grandchildren play with their toys or grow up. It’s a sad and difficult reality to face.

“They loved their grandfather so much,” Clinton said.

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