(COVINGTON, La.) — Beloved teacher, husband, father, and friend Robert Simpson died on the evening of January 6 at the age of 51. His death came after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.
Simpson is survived by his wife, Ann Koerner; children, Elias Andrew, Gabriel Thomas, Miriam Grace, Edith Clare and Sarah Frances; mother, Shirley Reynaud Simpson; and siblings, Ellis Simpson, Mary Simpson Landry, David Simpson, Lori Simpson, Paul Simpson, and Chris Simpson.
A part of the St. Paul’s Class of 1988, Simpson was on the wrestling and football teams. He attended St. Paul’s with his brothers while his sisters went to Saint Scholastica Academy. After graduating, Simpson attended Mississippi College, LSU, and finally Southeastern University where he earned his degree in history.
Simpson’s teaching career began at St. Paul’s in 1994 as a part-time history educator. A profoundly religious man, he took to the field of faith in his teachings. After realizing that being a Benedictine monk at Saint Joseph Abbey in Covington was not for him, Simpson taught at Rummel High School for a year before returning to St. Paul’s full-time in 2000. He remained at St. Paul’s, influencing and inspiring many classes of young men, until his death 20 years later.
Simpson was also a St. Paul’s campus historian. He studied the Christian Brothers and assisted Christi Simoneaux in writing The Saint Paul’s Story.
“He (Simpson) fought the good fight,” Simoneaux said. “He made us laugh. He helped us make a joyful noise. And, most importantly, he taught us to trust God’s plan. This world has lost one of its few truly good men. He prayed hard. He played hard. He loved with his whole heart. He will be missed,” Simoneaux said.
“I owe my marriage to Coach Simpson,” religion teacher Luke Barwick said. “He (Simpson) was in a play in 2015 with Nicole. He set us up on a date, and we ended up getting married.”
“Coach Simpson was one of the many amazing men who helped shape me into who I am today,” graduate from the St. Paul’s Class of 2016 Carter Simoneaux said.
Simpson’s funeral service was held on January 12. A prayer of the rosary and Mass were held surrounding the memorial. It was live streamed for anyone who could not attend.