William Roy Simpson, 73, of Bainbridge, GA. passed away Friday, October 2, 2020 at Archbold Hospital in Thomasville.
Private services will be held at Ivey Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Andy Hall and Rev. Doug Hall officiating. Interment will be at Delwood Baptist Church Cemetery. Due to the ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, those attending are asked to maintain the recommended safe social distancing of six feet and/or wear protective masks in accordance with the State of Georgia guidelines.
Roy was born in Bainbridge on March 15, 1947, the only child of the late Ralph and Hilda Simpson. He was educated in the Decatur County School system, graduating from Bainbridge High School in 1965. In 1967 he married the former Pamela Singleton and they made their home in Bainbridge and both became active in raising a family and being very involved in their hometown.
In addition to his wife Pamela, Roy is survived by his sons: Jeff Simpson of Bainbridge and Ryan Simpson and his wife Lisa of Cordele; and his two grandchildren, Blake Simpson and Ansley Simpson of Cordele; and his mother-in-law, Juanita Singleton of Bainbridge.
In 1968 Roy purchased WAZA radio and that station became a go-to for news and sports, as well as for its involvement in many aspects of the community until he sold the station in 1982. Roy was the “Larry Munson” of South Georgia with his play by play of Bearcat football and basketball. In fact, the broadcast of the 1982 Bearcat state championship run was one of the last sporting events he called. That championship involved games played in rain, fog and cold and Roy made sure through his descriptions that his listeners felt they were sitting right there in the stands in those conditions! He also briefly owned and then re-sold the licensing rights to area stations WBGE and CD105 Radio.
After WAZA sold, Roy continued in radio through a relatively new medium, online satellite. He worked in Dallas, Chicago and Denver before deciding in 1994 that he’d had seen enough airports and was coming back home for a new adventure. He obtained his brokers’ license and started his very successful second career, opening ERA Simpson Realty in 1998.
Roy wasn’t “just a member” of the organizations in which he got involved. He provided key leadership, too, serving as president of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Jaycees, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, and the Industrial Development Authority. In 1978 he was elected to a four-year term on Bainbridge City Council. Once he opened his realty firm, he became active with the Southwest Georgia Board of Realtors and served as their president also. With all of his activities, Roy took time for his family as well, becoming a coach for midget football and activities with the Recreation Department.
Roy was a member of Delwood Baptist Church and taught the men’s’ Sunday School class until he became too sick to do it.
In addition to the time he spent on City Council, Roy loved being involved with other political campaigns, serving important local leadership roles in the elections of Jimmy Carter, Zell Miller, Dawson Mathis, and others. He was a graduate of Leadership Georgia and made many of his contacts throughout the state while in that program.