Ernest "Ernie" Lee Simpson died Wednesday, March 8, 2006 at NEA Medical Center in Jonesboro. He was born June 5, 1939 in Sidon, Ark., to Alvin and Velma Simpson. He graduated from Searcy High School in 1957 and went on to Arkansas State University to earn a bachelor's and master's of music degrees. At ASU he was an active member of Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha. He went on to teach band at Cooter, Mo., Manila, Nettleton, and Jonesboro High School. During that time, he was president of the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, a member of the Dixie Band Camp Board, and adjudicator for Marching and Concert Bands and Solo and Ensemble Contest in Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri. In 1979, he left band directing and accepted a position at Hytrol, where he was manager of distributor education, until he retired in 2004. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Fast Glass Corvette Club and president and chief range officer for the Jonesboro Practical Pistol Shooters (JPPS).
He was preceded in death by a son Scott Simpson, and a brother Jim Simpson.
He is survived by his wife Shelia Simpson; son and daughter-in-law, Stuart and Amy Simpson; grandchildren, Lynlie, Luke, and Logan Simpson; brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Lavada McArthur, of Jonesboro, and Van and Malinda Vandergriff, of Searcy.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Emerson Memorial Chapel with Chaplain Edward Pruitt and comments by Bill Hawthorne with burial at Nettleton Cemetery with Emerson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers are Al Poston, Bill Hawthorne, Bill Faulkner, Don Jones, Terry Robinette, Steve Barkley, Phillip Poston, and Jamie Caradine.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Fast Glass Corvette Club, and JPPS, Dr. Carroll Scroggin, Dr. Jason Casey, Beth Eastin, Jill Wolf, Sam Leone, and the Hytrol family.
For lasting memorials, the family request persons consider the American Cancer Society.