Obituary: Sidney Simpson

Sidney “Sid” Simpson

Sidney “Sid” Simpson, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor emeritus of biological sciences, died April 25.

Since he was a young boy, Simpson knew that he would become a scientist. He graduated from Arkansas Polytechnic College and earned his PhD from Tulane University. At Tulane, he was invited to publish a paper based on his PhD research alongside a paper authored by a well-known professor at Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio. The resulting postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of that scientist marked the beginning of a distinguished career in the fields of regeneration and developmental biology.

He contributed his research and teaching talents to three universities: Western Reserve (later known as Case Western Reserve), Northwestern and University of Illinois Chicago. At UIC, he was department head, and for two years, he was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For five years at UIC, Simpson served on a team of scientists providing technical advice to the United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain.

After retirement, he and Nan, his wife of more than 60 years, retired to Albuquerque, where they focused their time on their art and learning about art history. Simpson was drawn to abstract images, and he experimented widely with form, colors and paints. His work was seen in many juried and open shows and is in many private collections. 

He enjoyed family adventures, including camping, fossil-collecting and spring vacations to Milwaukee, where they visited the zoo, the Midway Motor Lodge and the Public Natatorium, where you could pet the dolphins. He and his wife also enjoyed traveling to places such as Israel, Egypt, Peru, Greece and Italy. 

He will be remembered for his kindness, his gentle spirit and his willingness to listen.

He is survived by his wife, Nan; his children, Sid III (Laura) Allen-Simpson, Jeff (Kristina) Simpson and Jen Simpson; and his sister, Ruth Ann Simpson.

A small family service will be held at a later date.

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