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College Mourns Loss of Dr. LeRoy Simpson, Longtime Professor and Coach

Published: 9-19-2011 9:15 am

Dr. E. LeRoy Simpson of Woodland Park, Colo., passed away Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, in Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colo., of complications from his year and a half long battle against leukemia. 

Dr. Simpson was born Oct. 27, 1934, in Miami, Okla., to Eddie and Ada Simpson. He was a dedicated coach and mentor to countless students during his career in higher education. Dr. Simpson joined Wayne State College in 1968 as an associate professor of human performance/ leisure studies and athletic director. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kansas, and an Ed.D. from University of Arkansas, During his tenure of more than 30 years teaching and coaching, he was the track and field and cross country coach from 1968 to his retirement in 1997. He started the women's track program at WSC and was inducted into the WSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Sioux City Relays Hall of Fame in 2009. He and his wife, Marian, have served as trustees of the Wayne State Foundation since 2001. 

Dr. Simpson was a mentor to 16 Eagle Scouts and served as scoutmaster in Wayne for many years. He has always been committed to coaching young men and women in athletic competition and in life. Many still call him coach and valued his advice and friendship. He was an active and dedicated member of Kiwanis throughout his career, both in Nebraska and Colorado. He attended the First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, where he also volunteered in the food services ministry. Dr. Simpson volunteered at the Olympic Training Center and was an official for many Mountain West Conference, Air Force Academy and Sioux City Relays track meets. He served as the Honorary Referee for the Sioux City Relays in 1997. Dr. Simpson was a faithful member of the Lizard Table at the Woodland Park McDonalds.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 52 years, Marian, and one son, Jeff, of Stillwater, Okla.; nephew Sam Mitchell of Tulsa, Okla.; niece Natha Waldbaum, of Omaha, Neb., her husband, John, and their sons, Adam, Jared and Matthew. 

In honor of a life that touched so many, two memorial services will be held. The first memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. The second memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at First Presbyterian Church in Wayne. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Simpson's name to one of three funds:  the LeRoy Simpson Track Endowed Scholarship at Wayne State Foundation, Wayne, NE 68787; the Memorial Hospital Memorial Foundation Oncology Unit, 1400 East Boulder Street, Colorado Springs, CO  80809; and the Armitage Foundation, Hematology/Oncology Division, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987680 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE  68198.


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