Gene died on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Naples, Florida. He was born in Clinton, Indiana on April 1, 1926 to Ed and Nina Simpson. Gene was the last of eight children (five brothers and two sisters), all of whom preceded him in death.
Gene attended Clinton High School which he left to enlist in the Army Air Corp. He was called to active duty a few days after his eighteenth birthday. As a crew member on a B24 bomber, he saw duty in the Philippines and Okinawa.
After discharge, Gene went to Indiana University. He received his BA from Roosevelt College and a MA from Roosevelt University. He taught at Emerson School in Gary, Indiana for seven years and was an assistant principal there for three years. He then went on to become the first Principal of Spaulding and Kennedy King Schools.
During the 20 years in Gary, Gene served as President of the Elementary and the Secondary Principals Associations. He was the primary organizer and the first president of the Gary Administrators and Supervisors Association. Gene was a member of the Gary Lions Club and a Phi Delta Kappan. He was also a supporter of Christ Episcopal Church.
In 1973 the family moved to Marco Island, Florida. Gene taught and was Assistant Principal at Everglades School for thirteen years and was Principal at Tommie Barfield School for five years. He retired in 1991. His staff described him as an administrator who had great compassion, fairness and integrity toward them and the children. He was very witty and had a wonderful sense of humor.
Gene married Marina Cappony of Gary whom he met while they worked together in the steel mill. They were married in Denver, Colorado on August 8, 1944. She preceded him in death in October of 2016. Michael was their only child and preceded him in death in September 2012. Other survivors are a grandson, James, of Orlando and a niece, Jean Waterloo, of Richmond, MI.
While teaching he worked part time as a salesman for the Deltona Corporation during their development of Marco Island.
The Chicago Cubs were the love of his life after his family. A devoted fan since 1934, Gene attended their spring training games in Mesa, Arizona for twelve years after retirement. Gene was car crazy too, owning fifty-six different models. He enjoyed traveling and camping with Marina and their many pets. They visited all fifty states, most of the Canadian Provinces and several European countries.
Private family services will be held for the family at Naples Memorial Gardens.
Donations may be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Marco Island or to Vitas Hospice.