Robert Simpson, 89

Amway vice president, gifted storyteller

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Robert Glenn Simpson, 89, of Grand Rapids, Mich., formerly of Oak Park, died on Aug. 4, 2013. Born on the South Side of Chicago on May 6, 1924, he attended St. Ignatius High School, then was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in the 45th Division, 157th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company A. The 45th saw 540 days of frontline combat, more than any other division during World War II.

He was involved in the invasion of Anzio, Italy, the capture of Munich, and the liberation of Dachau. He was injured twice, one of which was life threatening. After recuperating, he served another 2 1/2 years.

After the war, he graduated from Loyola University and married Grace (Lulie) Gale on Nov. 5, 1949. They settled in Oak Park and raised a family of seven.

He spent his career working in the catalog merchandise industry. A vice president with John Plain & Company, he was hired to manage the Catalog Division of Amway Corporation in 1972, and the family moved to Grand Rapids. He retired as Amway vice president in 2000.

He was known for having a keen mind, lightning wit and infectious laugh, all of which made him a gifted storyteller.

Bob Simpson is survived by Lulie, his life's love and wife of 64 years; his children, Gail (Robert) Wolf, Robert (Patricia), Mark (Margaret), Peter (Jean), Mary, James, and Eileen (James) Gould; 12 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; his sister, Eileen (Frank) Muriello; and his brother, Rev. Roger Simpson.

Visitation was held on Aug. 8 at O'Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel in Grand Rapids. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Aug. 9.

Memorials may be sent to the Killgoar Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, or the Martin Sweet Foundation.

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