SIMPSON, FRANK BURNETT, 92, educator and the first black superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, passed away Thursday, June 14, 2012.
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Frank was born December 21, 1919 in Leon Co., TX to Herman and Annie Matson Simpson. He lived in Texas until his teenage years and attended both elementary and high school in Jewett, TX.
Frank moved to Kentucky in 1938 to attend Kentucky State University (KSU) on an academic scholarship. Frank graduated from the university in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in agriculture. During his time at KSU, Frank met his wife of 67 years, the former Estelle Martin. He joined the United States Army in 1942 and served until his honorable discharge in 1946.
He earned a Master of Science Degree in educational administration from the University of Kentucky in 1956. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Kentucky State University in 1991.
Frank's outstanding career as an educator and advocate began when he joined Todd County High School as the Supervising Principal. He served as principal of Todd County High School and Attucks High School for a combined 21 years and regularly demonstrated his unparalleled passion for education, equality and helping others.
Frank later served as assistant superintendent of the Hopkinsville Independent School District from 1967 to 1968, and then served as assistant superintendent of general administration for the Jefferson County school system from 1969 - 1980.
During his tenure, Frank's hopes of equality in education were realized when the Jefferson County school systems desegregated - achieving racial balance in enrollments and equal opportunities for all students.
Frank was former president of the Third District Teachers Association, past president of KSU Alumni Association, and honored as one of the 100 outstanding alumni of KSU. He served on the Kentucky Governor's Commission on Higher Education. He was listed on the 1976 list of "Who's Who Among Black Americans" and was a member of Sigma Pi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a life member of the NAACP, and a Free Mason.
Frank was a God-fearing man and a member of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and Phillips Memorial C.M.E. Church, where he served as a steward for many years.
Beyond his storied career in education, Frank was a devoted family man, and is survived by his wife Estelle Martin Simpson; two children, Dr. Oliver Simpson (Dolly), of Houston, TX and Dr. Rosetta Hassan of Cerritos, CA; four grandchildren, Atty. Jabari Willis, Dr. Dalila Simpson, Dr. Tijani Hassan and Aliya Hassan; nieces, Annie Applewhite and Gwendolyn Simpson, and a host of cousins, colleagues and friends.
He was preceded in death by three sisters, Rosetta Berry, Loyce Selman and Nannie Simpson, and one brother, Herman Simpson.
Funeral services will be held 11a.m. Wednesday at A.D. Porter & Sons-Southeast, 4501 Bardstown Road, with entombment in Resthaven Mausoleum. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Published in The Courier-Journal on June 18, 2012