Ivan R. Simpson
Ivan R. Simpson, 92 years of age, of Beatrice passed away Monday, March 13, 2023 at Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center surrounded by his family. He was born on January 16, 1931 in Oberlin, Kansas to Rea and Lena (Brown) Simpson. Ivan grew up in Oberlin, Kansas and during high school, the family moved to Orleans, Nebraska. There, Ivan met the love of his life, Donna, and graduated from Orleans High School in 1949. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln before serving his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War from February 20, 1951 to February 18, 1955. While in the service, Ivan married Donna Simmons on June 1, 1952 in Orleans. They lived in San Diego, California and Ivan served 9 months overseas on the USS Essex.
Ivan earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Kearney State College in 1957. Ivan began teaching and coaching at Dannebrog High School while also continuing his education. He earned his master’s degree in education from Kearney State College in 1960. From 1959 to 1964, Ivan was the elementary school Principal at Red Cloud where he also taught and coached at the high school and served 2 years as the Red Cloud Community Hospital Administrator. He then became the superintendent at Juniata Public Schools for 1 year and at Nelson Public Schools for 2 years. Ivan served as the President of Fairbury Junior College from 1967 to 1974, as Director of Public Education for Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine from 1974 to 1976 and retired in 1996 as the Administrative Director of Educational Service Unit #5 in Beatrice. He was a member of the Nebraska School Administrators Association, Nebraska Association of Educational Administrators and served as a member on the Educational Service Unit Administrators Legislative Committee.
Ivan served as director of Crime Stoppers in Beatrice and was a member of the Elks in Fairbury, VFW, American Legion and of any church where he lived. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Beatrice since 1977 where he taught Sunday School, ushered, served on numerous church committees and was involved with fellowship groups and bible studies. After retiring, he did national evaluations and state testing for grades 4 and 8 and supervised preschool to grade 12 student teachers for Peru State College, UNL and UNK for several years. Ivan enjoyed refereeing Nebraska and Kansas high school football and basketball, coaching summer baseball, playing golf where he was a member at Hidden Acres, square dancing with Donna, card games with friends and family, camping in 2 travel clubs and just being around people.
Ivan is survived by his wife of almost 71 years, Donna; daughter, Teresa Hansmire and husband Greg of Fairbury; son, Randy Simpson and wife Daniela of Houston, Texas; grandchildren, Michael Hansmire and wife Bethany, Megan (Hansmire) Johnson and husband Rob, Dylan Simpson, Isabel Simpson, Audrey Simpson; great grandchildren, Molly, Morgan and Macy Hansmire, Maya and Marshall Johnson; sisters-in-law, Dee Simpson of Lincoln, Barbara Simmons of Carmel, California; brother-in-law, Clayton Simmons and wife Clarice of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Michael Simpson; brothers, Melvin Simpson, Dale Simpson and wife Velda, Lowell Simpson and wife Melba; sister, Neta Becker and husband Fred; and brother-in-law, Richard Simmons.
Memorial Services will be held at 10:30 AM Thursday, March 16, 2023 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Beatrice with Rev. Dr. Paixao Baptista officiating. Prior private family inurnment with military rites will be in the Fairbury Cemetery in Fairbury. There will be no visitation but a register book will be available to sign from 9 AM to 8 PM Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at Harman-Wright Mortuary in Beatrice. Memorials are suggested to the Centenary United Methodist Church or the Ivan Simpson Memorial to be used towards dementia research in care of the mortuary. Condolences may be left online at www.harmanwrightmortuary.com. Harman-Wright Mortuary & Crematory in Beatrice in charge of arrangements.