Mr. Harry Simpson, ’65
- 2021 Hall of Fame Honoree (Posthumous)
- 2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Harry Simpson attended OMA from 1960 through his graduation in 1965. While on College Hill, he rose to the rank of captain while being active in athletics (football, wrestling, track, tennis and bowling), Sergeant-at-Arms for the Chevron Society, Drill Team, Honor Court, Judge’s Bench, Saber Society and more.
He was in the best drilled company and platoon, and also was active in campus chapel. After graduation, Simpson attended Oklahoma City University where he majored in business administration before joining the Army and serving with the 11th Armored Cavalry Division. He served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967, after which he was stationed at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.
Professionally, Simpson worked for Burns Construction of Claremore and Oklahoma Testing Laboratories in Oklahoma City as a metallurgist inspecting bridges in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Additionally, he performed structural inspection of high-rise buildings during construction.
For 45 years, he served as a senior draftsman at Midwest Detailing, LLC, where he also served as a primary structural steel detailer for high profile projects, nationally and internationally. He also co-owned several companies, including McKim Solar Energy Systems, Simpson Cleaning Service, Aero-Sport Inc., Excel Telecommunications and Midwest Detailing Inc.
Simpson was active in the community as a member of the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce and the Stoma Club of Catoosa; past president of the Ultralight Aircraft Association of Tulsa; and past instructor with the Junior Achievement Program at the Catoosa Middle School.
In January 1966, Simpson married Deanna Burns (the 1965 Sweetheart of the Corps) and they had two children: daughter, Shannon (Simpson) Cline, and son, Matthew, who died of leukemia in 1995 at the age of 18. The couple had three grandchildren: Savannah Evans, Mike Bright and Samantha (Bright) Robinson. He served as an elder at the Claremore Seventh Day Adventist Church and has preached several sermons throughout northeastern Oklahoma.
Simpson was honored by the 2015 Distinguished Alumni recognition, saying he was always eager to do all he could to advance the OMA Alumni Association. He was involved with the organization since being first selected as a board member in 1971.
Harry passed away May 23, 2020.