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Obituary: Robert L. Simpson



- Robert Leatham Simpson, a man without guile and a man who loved his Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, quietly left this mortal sojourn on April 15, 2003 to continue on his eternal path.

Robert L. Simpson was born August 8, 1915 in Salt Lake City to Heber "C" Simpson and Lillie Clarissa Leatham. Robert graduated from Santa Monica City College and served a mission in New Zealand. He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force during World War II at Yale University Tech Training Command and rose to the rank of Captain.

Robert married his sweetheart Jelaire Chandler for eternity in the Mesa Arizona Temple on June 24, 1942. They have four children, Steven (Kaye Hendrickson), Christine (Wayne Lemmon), Kathryn Marie (deceased) and Robert (Anne Davis). Thirteen grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren also survive him.

Robert and Jelaire shared many interests including sports, good literature, gourmet cooking and gospel study. In 1958 they traveled with their children to preside over the Auckland New Zealand Mission for three years.

Upon returning he was called to serve as a General Authority of the L.D.S. Church as 1st Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. After ten years he was called as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later to the First Quorum of the Seventy. After 28 years of service as a General Authority he was given emeritus status in 1989.

Robert oft repeated the phrase that the gospel was beautifully simple and simply beautiful. He lived his life with this in mind and was known for his untiring service and infectious smile. He touched the lives of many people with a loving and caring attitude and his ability to teach in simplicity the great truths of the gospel.

He was also a supportive and loving husband and father. Many hours were spent attending his children's activities and he was very creative and innovative. He would often entertain his children with and others with Maori dances he learned in New Zealand. Robert remained fluent with his Maori language. His friendships were life long and he went to great effort to keep in touch with those he loved. The influence of this wonderful man will press on through many generations of his posterity.

Major assignments in the Church included President of the Los Angeles Temple, Area President - South Pacific, Area President Southeast Asia, President of the London England East Mission, Director of Church Social Services, General Sunday School President, Director of the St. George LDS Visitors Center and many others.

The family would like to thank IHC Hospice for their loving attention for the past several months.

Services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, 2003 at the Green Valley LDS Stake Center located at 511 South Valley View Drive, St. George, Utah. Previous to the services a viewing will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A viewing will also be held Friday, April 18, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Metcalf Mortuary, 300 W. St. George Blvd. Interment will be at the Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah. Condolences may be sent through our website at