Thomas H. Simpson

Thomas Henry Simpson, 94, of Old Tappan, formerly of River Vale, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 17, 2022. Tom was the beloved husband of Dorothy (nee Lowell) for 73 years. He was the loving father of Thomas E. Simpson and wife Marilyn of Harrington Park, Kathleen Rizza and husband Patrick of Emerson, and Carolyn Hulsizer and husband David of Ramsey. Proud grandfather of Erica Sposa and husband Rick, Kyle Rizza, Thomas J. Simpson and wife Theresa, Timothy Rizza and wife Kelli, Brendan Rizza and wife Bridget, Stephanie Hulsizer, and David Hulsizer, Jr. Adored great-grandfather of Giuliana and Katelyn Sposa, Thomas L. Simpson, and Jackson Rizza. He was predeceased by his parents, Harry and Irene Simpson, brother, Daniel Simpson and sister, Ruth Stark.

Tom was a US Navy Veteran who proudly served his country in World War II, just recently being awarded his service medals. He joined the Township of River Vale Police Department in 1955, and rose to the rank of Police Chief in 1971, a role that he held until his retirement in 1992. He was a member and past president of both the NJ State Police Chiefs Association and the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association. He was a past president of the State Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Tom never forgot a name, a face or a phone number, and he loved listening to bagpipe music. He adored telling stories, spending time on Cape Cod, and enjoying time with his family.

The family will accept visitors on Friday, January 21, 2022 from 4-7PM at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale. A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 10AM at the funeral home with interment to follow at Westwood Cemetery. Those who wish may make a donation in Tom’s memory to the COPD Foundation,


  1. Dear Mrs. Simpson and family,
    I started my career in the early 1980s working as a reporter for the Pascack Valley News and Community Life. One of my responsibilities was going around to local police departments to get the police report. One rainy day when I was on my way to River Vale Police Department, I was coming around the curve on Rivervale Road north of Piermont—that bad curve right before Old Tappan Road—and another car skidded on the wet pavement and hit me head-on. Totaled my car!

    Of course, River Vale officers were quickly on the scene, but a few minutes later, Chief Simpson also came there to see I was OK. He had heard I was in one of the cars. I had been meeting with him weekly for some time to get the police report, so we knew each other a little bit. He was always such a pleasure to see each week, personable and nice to talk to, even sometimes dispensing fatherly advice, and I was really touched that he came to the scene to check on me, and I never forgot that kindness, even now 40 years later.

    I hope you find some comfort in knowing that many people admired your husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss.

    Lisa Hoffman

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