Bowling Green - Dr. Robert Edward "Bubber" Simpson, 90, of Bowling Green, Kentucky died at his home from natural causes on Thursday, October 21, 2021. Dr. Simpson is preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Patricia (Bandy) Simpson, his father, George Brown Simpson III, his mother, Nina Sue (Wynns) Simpson, and his brother, George Brown Simpson IV. He is survived by his brothers, Johnny Mac Simpson of Morganfield, Kentucky, and David Ray Simpson of Sturgis, Kentucky, and two sons, Robert Mark Simpson (Julie) of Martin, Tennessee, and John Timothy Simpson of Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is also survived by his granddaughters, Caitlin Simpson Tucker (Matthew) of Martin, Tennessee, Mallory Simpson of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Hannah Simpson of Jackson, Tennessee, one great-grandson, Merritt Tucker, of Martin, Tennessee, and several nieces and nephews.
Dr. Simpson was born in Madisonville, Kentucky, on April 9, 1931, and graduated from Sturgis (Kentucky) High School where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball, and track and played E-Flat euphonium in the band. He graduated from Western Kentucky State College in 1953 and earned All-OVC Honors in football as a wide receiver on the 1952 Refrigerator Bowl Championship team; he was also on the track team. Following graduation, he was drafted by the New York Giants professional football team but served in the Air Force as a jet fighter pilot, F-86F Sabre Jet, in the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was a member of the Mach Busters Club. He became head football coach at Dale Indiana High School, where he met his future wife, Patricia, until being hired at Valley High School and Fairdale High School in Louisville, Kentucky, as head football coach and teacher of English and Biology. During his stint in Louisville, he also served in the Kentucky Air National Guard.
While teaching and coaching in high school, he earned a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisville and also studied counseling at The Ohio State University.
In 1965, Dr. Simpson became an instructor at Western Kentucky State College in the Psychology Department. He received his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Alabama in 1970. He was a professor in the Psychology Department at Western Kentucky University until 2000.
Dr. Simpson was an avid gardener, quite a good pianist, dabbled in painting, enjoyed sailing with his sons, and was a member of the Port Oliver Yacht Club. He served many years in the Kiwanis Club of Bowling Green, served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher (Couples and 3-Year-Olds), led Training Union with university students, and was a member of the sanctuary choir at First Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Kentucky. He treated everyone with kindness, enthusiasm, and respect and was a loving father to his sons and husband to his wife of 60 years.
Visitation will be on Sunday, October 24, 2021, from 3-6 p.m. and on Monday, October 25, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. with the funeral service to be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Johnson, Vaughn, and Phelps Funeral Home, 901 Fairview Avenue, Bowling Green, KY 42103. A brief graveside ceremony in the Fairview Cemetery will be held following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the following organizations:
The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, https://www.imb.org/generosity/lottie-moon-christmas-offering/, The Kiwanis Club Children's Fund (https://www.kiwanis.org/childrens-fund), or The College Heights Foundation of Western Kentucky University. (https://www.wku.edu/chf/).
Out of respect for the safety and health of attendees the family asks that guests use prudence regarding Covid-19 protocols. Please do not attend if you are symptomatic. Please wear a mask if not fully vaccinated. We will be practicing social distancing.