QUESTION: Does Alamance-Burlington school board member Patsy Simpson still live here, and is she participating in meetings by Zoom because she doesn’t?
ANSWER: Yes. Simpson, a four-term board member most recently reelected in 2020 and currently the board’s vice chairman, is still a resident of Alamance County.
Simpson confirmed for an Alamance News reporter late last year that she and her husband were selling their home in Graham and had moved in with their daughter, Destiny Reid, at her home in Mebane. Simpson said at the time that the couple was downsizing due to her husband’s planned retirement from the U.S. Postal Service.
In a subsequent interview Tuesday, Simpson confirmed for the newspaper that her husband, Larry Simpson, Sr., had retired at the end of last year.
Simpson had previously contacted The Alamance News in early May 2021 to say that she doesn’t intend to seek reelection in 2024, as she and her husband plan to move back to her native Virginia to help care for her aging relatives, including an aunt and two uncles whom she described as “over the age of 80” and in need of help with daily tasks.
Meanwhile, Simpson has participated in several school board meetings via the Zoom online teleconferencing platform earlier this year but has attended most of the latest school board meetings in-person.
Simpson confirmed Tuesday that the sale of her home in Graham had closed in March of this year.
She voluntarily disclosed that she owns a modular home on family land and is having an addition built with plans to move there permanently at some point. “I told the board I would stay on until my house is in livable condition – and not until then,” Simpson said Tuesday. She said the 1,000-square foot addition will expand the home’s footprint to 2,400 square feet once the addition is complete.
The modular home, Simpson elaborated, is being reconfigured into a “farmhouse-style” residence that will have 10-foot ceilings, a new roof, and new front porch, along with other upgrades. “Because of restrictions, it’s considered to be agricultural [zoning],” she said. “I didn’t want to move the modular home [to a new site], so I’m building a house around a house.”
In the meantime, the construction of the addition has hit several delays due to supply shortages and difficulty finding subcontractors. “It’s just starting, really,” she said, adding, “Yes, I go back and forth but spend the majority of my time here.”
Simpson also voluntarily disclosed that the property she owns is in Virginia is located at 223 Wattstown Road in Evington, Virginia, which is situated within a farming community more commonly known as “Flat Creek,” just a few miles from Lynchburg.
“It’s the same property [my family] got out of slavery during Reconstruction,” said Simpson, whose maiden name is Watts. She said her elderly aunt and two uncles live on the same Wattstown Road where her modular home is located.
“We were fortunate enough that our slave owners, Col. Fleming Saunders, had a family friend…who agreed to sell the property to my great-grandfather, and we’ve been,” Simpson explained. “I’ve owned this property since before I was elected. I might go there. We bought it years ago when [my] dad was sick with cancer so we would have a place to stay. I was in college at the time, but by this time, we were all married and had children.”
Simpson, who retired from a nearly 40-year career as an Internal Revenue Service field agent in May 2014, says she and her husband are on the road a lot these days.
“I will be in Charlotte for the 4th,” she added. “We are retired. I go here and there, absolutely – Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, D.C. – that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re retired. But I live in Mebane.”
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