Robert Wayne “Bob” Simpson, affectionately known as “Dad” to his children, “Poppy” to his grandchildren, “Honey” to his wife, and “Bobby” to his folks in Indiana, passed away on June 29, 2020, at the age of 75. He was a member of Poplar Grove Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vearl and Eva Simpson; his brothers, Verl Jr., Jim, Joe, and Johnny; and sisters, Marcella Choban and Mildred Avalos.
He missed his parents and siblings and his earliest home in Indianapolis, Indiana and spoke of them with great love and affection. Whenever someone said, “Oh, you’re from the big city.” He would chuckle and say… “Indianapolis wasn’t as big then as it is now. I’m hand-spanked, corn-fed, buttermilk country.”
He was raised in the Hoosier tradition of basketball and earned college scholarships playing for Southport High School where he had fond memories of playing with Louie Dampier. (If you are young and unfamiliar with the name, check your Kentucky basketball history…which, if it’s not, should probably be a course in Kentucky schools.)
Bob and his wife Freda met at Cumberland College and married in 1968 shortly before he entered the military. They were married 51 years.
When he finished his time in the Army, he became a switchman for CSX Railroad. He made many good friends at work and even as his memory faded, he would mention them to his family.
He and his wife, Freda, had two children, Kelly Robert and Sarah Catherine. He would look at them and their spouses in his later years with love, pride, and amazement and tell Freda how blessed they were. His three grandchildren, Dustin, Sydney, and Logan were the “icing on the cake.” He loved his family, and they loved him.
As far as hobbies, after he stopped playing backyard basketball, he began to cook. He loved fixing food for the whole family. When they got their first microwave he turned a piece of bologna into a quarter size piece of cardboard, but after that the sky was the limit. He fixed cube steak, frog legs, and a turkey so pretty that Freda took its picture.
He had a quick wit, was famous for his eye rolls, and was super competitive, which is why the Scrabble board got trashed. He loved his family, his friends, his dogs, trips with the family to Gatlinburg, George Jones, sweets (ask the grandkids about his stash of Snickers, Little Debbie’s, and Cracker Jacks). He loved old time westerns, mowing the yard, and pulling pranks. April Fool’s Day was a competition with him and his kids. These pranks were recalled through the years with gusto. His magic tricks were also part of his repertoire. His daughter is sure all the angels in heaven are walking around with a handful of cigarette ashes and a pencil mark from their forehead to their chin.
Bob is survived by his wife, Freda Cox Simpson; son, Kelly Simpson and wife, Amy; daughter, Sarah Pietrowski and husband, Paul; grandchildren, Dustin, Sydney, and Logan Simpson; sister-in-law, Brenda Greer and husband, Kerry; a host of nieces and nephews; Freda’s Aunt Lucy Shelton and Uncle George Cox, whom he dearly loved; pets, Jack and Ginger; extended family including Sharon and Marvin Miller and Betsy Pietrowski; and many friends including neighbors, Bill and Mary Lindsey.
In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family asks that you send a donation to the Salvation Army. Bob’s favorite thing to do in his later years was to give to the less fortunate, and he belonged to different organizations for that purpose. He always remembered how the Salvation Army took care of him and his buddies in the Army so that became his charity of choice. They have an online secure site at which you can give and designate it as a memorial. You can add a few words if you wish and they will notify the family of the gift and send the kind words you’ve written if you type in the family’s e-mail which is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Salvation Army’s secure site is leader.salarmy-kentucky.org
Due to an abundance of caution, because of Covid 19, there will be no public visitation. However, the memorial service will be held on Friday, July 3, at 11:00 AM at Poplar Grove Baptist Church. It will be a parking lot service in which everyone will remain in their cars during the service with their radios set to 99.1.
Messages may be written to the family at vankirkgrisellfuneralhome.com.
Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.