Dr. James Albert Simpson, Sr.Searcy, AR, 1939 - 2023
Dr. James Albert Simpson, Sr., 83, of Searcy, Ark., passed away peacefully at home Sunday, May 28.
"Jim," as he was called by his friends, was born July 29, 1939. He grew up with his three sisters and a younger brother in North Little Rock, Ark. Jim was a Wildcat at North Little Rock High School, where he developed his love of all sports, excelling at basketball and earning the nickname, the String Bean Sharpshooter. He also excelled at baseball and played against his friend and rival, (Little Rock High School), MLB Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, affiliated with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity where he embodied the ideals of the SAE creed, "The True Gentleman." After three years, he enrolled into the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. He interned at Minneapolis General Hospital, then returned to UAMS for a surgery residency where he met his wife of sixty-one years, Jerry Kay Braucher. He completed his general surgery residency in 1969 while serving as chief resident. Jim joined the Air Force Reserves in 1965 and later served as Chief of Surgery at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kan., honorably discharged as Major in 1976.
Jim joined Dr. Porter Rogers, Jr. in Searcy, in 1971 where he practiced for forty years as a general, thoracic and vascular surgeon. At that time, the two were the only surgeons in White County, performing all surgeries needed in any field for a decade. Later, Dr. Glen Blue joined their practice. Jim served as Chief of Surgery at Central Arkansas General Hospital. He served as President of the Arkansas Medical Foundation for thirteen years. Through his partnership with Dr. Porter Rogers and friendships of fellow doctors, including Dr. Robert Elliott and Dr. John "J" Bell, they established top rated surgical and diagnostic medical practices that pioneered medical care, changing the medical community of Central Arkansas.
Jim's calling in life was caring for people, which he did with tenacity, skill and professionalism. He was the neighborhood doctor who put family and friends first. He was quick to grab his black medical bag when called upon, whether it was to stitch up a family member in his kitchen or to make a house call on a neighbor who was thrown from a horse. He took great pride in helping others and never forgot that his patients were his priority. Although he was a skilled surgeon, he didn't like being on the receiving end. After awakening from one of his surgeries, he wittingly remarked, "surgery is for sale, not for purchase."
Jim's greatest legacy is the bond he fostered and nurtured with his loving family. His favorite moments involved times spent with family and friends outdoors, enjoying cookouts, golf, hunting and fishing. He was an avid fan of the Razorbacks, through thick and thin, and a Broyles-Matthews Scholarship donor. In fact, he endured the 1969 shootout against Texas while living in Topeka with a Texas fan. From that experience, he passed down to generations a disdain for all things UT and burnt orange. He loved the game of baseball and committed countless hours in support of the St. Louis Cardinals. He enjoyed special hunting and fishing trips with his dear friend, Dr. Quentin Falgoust of Thibodaux, La. Their friendship was forged while both served in the USAF in Topeka. Jim and "Q" shared many adventures, with a quest to catch every fish in the Gulf of
Mexico, aka "mull drag", or shoot every bird in North America. Escapades were concluded with detailed analysis while enjoying cigars and spirits with all who would listen. They both passed that love of the outdoors and dear friendships to their children.
Those honored to remember him include his beloved wife of sixty-one years, Jerry Kay Braucher Simpson; his daughter Leslie Simpson Sydow (Bob) of Cincinnati, Ohio; his son James Albert Simpson, Jr. (Maegan) of Searcy; and his son Clay Eliot Simpson (Jenny) of Searcy; six grandchildren: John Robert Sydow (Alyssa) of Greenbrier; Emily Kay Sydow of New York; Olivia Claire Simpson of Austin, Texas; James Albert (Bo) Simpson, III; Ava Elizabeth Simpson; and Eliot Todd Simpson; one great-grandson Knox Bradley; his sister Patricia Lee Simpson Manatt of Corning; his brother Jeffrey Neaville Simpson of North Little Rock; his brother-in-law John David Ingram of North Little Rock; and many other cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents Albert Jeffrey and Emily Neaville Simpson; his son Todd Alan Simpson; and his twin sisters Emily Ann Simpson Ingram and Nancy Sue Simpson Tillman of North Little Rock.
The family would like to thank Dr. Richard Duke and Dr. Ryan Koch for their medical care, friendship and compassion to Jim and his family; Hannah Lewis, R.N. and the rest of the staff of Arkansas Hospice for their care and kindness.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 3, at 2 p.m. to celebrate Jim's life in the sanctuary of Trinity Parish Episcopal Church, 200 N. Elm St., Searcy. The burial will follow the service on the church grounds with a reception being held in the parish fellowship hall. Arrangements are being made by Powell Funeral Home, with The Reverend Mark Harris, officiating. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to his cherished parish, Trinity Parish Church, Tunnels to Towers Foundation, or a charity of your choosing.
Arrangements are entrusted to Powell Funeral Home of Searcy. www.powellfuneralhome.net
Published June 1, 2023
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Powell Funeral Home
2602 W Beebe Capps Expressway, Searcy, AR