Robert B. Simpson

No formal services are planned for Robert B. Simpson, 94, Lawrence at this time. A family gathering and memorial is planned for this summer. Robert passed away quietly on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at his home.

Robert was born on February 25, 1927 in Wichita, KS, the son of Joseph Harold and Anne Lou (Witbeck) Simpson.

He served his country in the Army Air Corps immediately after WWII as a lineman in Okinawa.

His education included Bachelor’s degrees from Wichita University and Yale University Divinity School, a Masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Sociology from Washington University Saint Louis.

He started his career as a Methodist minister in several Kansas communities. Following his interests, he pursued the study of the sociology of religion, and became a Sociology professor at the University of Nebraska from 1968 until he retired in 1992. Throughout his career and after he continued to give the occasional sermon and officiated at the weddings of family and friends.

Outside of family and teaching he had passions for a family cabin in Colorado, fly fishing and “blue highways” trips.

Locally he was a member of the Centenary United Methodist Church, Plymouth Congregational Church and the Lawrence Breakfast Optimist Club.

Survivors include his children; Leigh (John) Prescott, Michael Simpson, Sean (Stacie) Williams, Todd Williams, eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two daughters-in-law, Amber Williams and Julie Williams.

Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Joseph Williams on November 16, 2009, two sons, Lance Williams and Bret Williams, brother, Richard Simpson, first wife, Vivian Lorraine (Graber) Simpson and infant son, Bruce Alan Simpson.

Memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s name to American Friends Service Committee and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

1 Condolence

  1. Clenece Hills on April 1, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I so admired the care you always expressed for Bob Simpson. You have been a true son to him. Please know that I send my good wishes for the memories of your life with him in it.

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