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Gloria Elizabeth “Beth” (Allen) Simpson passed away on November 29, 2020 in Norman at the age of 86. A longtime Norman resident, she was born in Cole, OK on April 1, 1934 to Liston “Pete” Allen and Helen Hopkins Allen.
Beth was raised and attended school in Dibble. In high school, Beth was a stand-out forward on the women’s basketball team. Her love for the game remained with her for the rest of her life. She met and married her sweetheart, Grady Simpson, in 1951 and settled in Oklahoma City where they started a family and remained until 1965 when they moved with their three children, Joe, Jan, and Jill, to Blanchard. In 1968, they relocated the family to Norman where Beth remained for the rest of her life.
Beth waited until her three kids were in school, before going to college to pursue her passion by earning both her Licensed Practical Nursing and then Registered Nursing degrees, finishing at the top of her class and earning a “Nurse of the Year” honor. She worked for many years as Dr. Jerry Leu’s nurse before joining what was then Norman Municipal Hospital in the nursery caring for newborns. She finished her career at Central State Hospital as a psychiatric nurse. She was well-respected by her peers for her knowledge of the field and dedication to her patients.
Beth was both fiery and sweet, direct yet kind. She was a born mother whose home was a gathering place and often a soft place to land for many of her kids’ friends. Those away from home attending OU knew they could get a hot meal and some TLC at her house. These connections remained strong well into her golden years.
Upon retirement in 1996, Beth spent the next 20-plus years as one of OU Women’s Basketball’s most loyal fans. She was a longtime member of the Fast Break Club attending games both at home and on the road. She was also a supporter of Norman High School basketball earning her a “Fan of the Year” award. When not “basketballing” in one of her many crimson and cream warmup suits, she spent time cooking and baking for family and friends. She regularly made home deliveries of her meals, pies and banana nut bread, the stuff of legend. She also possessed a green thumb and enjoyed time spent gardening. Her most ardent passion though was her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, each one perfect in her eyes. She doted on each and every one and the devotion was mutual.
Beth was preceded in death by her parents, Liston Allen and Helen York, and sister, Peggy Frampton. She is survived by son Joe Simpson and wife Kathy of Marietta, GA; daughters Jan Taylor and husband Scotty and Jill Simpson of Norman; grandchildren Sarah Aylor (John Mark) of Edmond; Spencer Taylor (Ashley) of Norman; Meg Duff (Mike) of Malibu, CA, Gabe Simpson (Lauren) of DeBordieu, SC; and Addie Rambo (Grier) of Amarillo, TX and seven great-grandchildren, Brooks Aylor, Asah and Amos Taylor, Pete Duff, Olivia Tune, and Owen and Claire Rambo. She is also survived by her former husband, Grady Simpson, brother Gary York and wife Karen of Blanchard, and special family friend Peter Robinson of Los Angeles, CA.
We would like to thank the caregivers at Arbor House Reminisce who provided such excellent loving care to Beth for the last 18 months. There are no words to express our appreciation for their heroic efforts to keep residents safe during the pandemic when families could not visit. A special heartfelt thank you goes to nurse, Cristen Willoughby, an angel on earth. We would also like to thank Erin, Robert, April, and Michael of Traditions Hospice for holding our mother’s hand and being with us on this difficult walk.
Due to current Covid restrictions, a celebration of Beth’s life is postponed until the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made in Beth’s name to Toby Keith’s OK Kids Korral at, 818 NE 8th St, Oklahoma City ,OK 73104 or tobykeithfoundation.org.