of Little Rock, AR
June 9, 1952 - January 19, 2023
James Marlon (Jim) Simpson, Jr., 70, of Little Rock went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, January 19, 2023.Jim was an accomplished trial lawyer and represented a number of high-profile clients during his 46 years at Friday Eldredge and Clark. He held leadership positions at the firm and for many years trained and mentored young trial lawyers there. Jim led the Arkansas Bar Association as President and was active in and held leadership positions in many trial lawyer organizations, including those that recognize only the top members of the trial bar. The judges and his peers knew him as both a worthy advocate and a civil and fair one. He was proud to be a lawyer and proud to have so many friends among the lawyers whose paths he crossed during his career. Even more so, Jim cherished his many friends at the Friday firm and enjoyed the many hours with them discussing the law and discussing "life".Jim found much success in his personal life. While a member of Sigma Nu fraternity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he was elected Student Government Association president by his classmates and later honored by his alma mater with the Alumni Association Presidents Award. After earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, he met the love of his life, Karen Brooks, at the teller window of a Little Rock bank. She is "the one" he told his many friends and she remained "the one" for 45 years. Jim and Karen have a beautiful daughter, Caitlin, who he adored and grandkids, Charlie and Ellie who call him "Champ".Jim has many lifelong friends who all valued his trust and support. He was always concerned with their wellbeing, often being the first to offer help when needed. He enjoyed golf and thoroughbred racing with his buddies and they enjoyed his warm friendship. Only a few knew of his expertise on the accordion, but all knew he was a sharp dresser, had a terrific smile, a great sense of humor and never directed an ill word toward another.Jim was a man of God and faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and taught a singles and young couple's class for the past 30 years. Jim nurtured and loved his class and they returned their love and respect to him. Jim was preceded in death by his dad, James Marlon Simpson and mother, Wanda Louise Simpson. He is survived by his wife, Karen Brooks Simpson of Little Rock; his daughter, Caitlin and husband, Dr. Andrew West; grandkids, Charlie and Ellie all of Bentonville; sister, Pamela and husband, Dr. Craig Vire of Benton and sister, Brenda and husband, Preston Wright of Fayetteville and many nieces and nephews.Visitation will be at 5-7pm Thursday, January 26 at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held the following morning Friday, January 27th at 11am at Calvary Baptist Church with interment at Pinecrest Memorial Park.
I am so sorry for your loss. He was my "little brother" at UALR and I always felt that way about him. Jim very quietly showed everybody he met how a great man treated people. I will always miss him.
So saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. We were friends with he and Karen when we were all dating. Keith and Jim were fraternity brothers at UALR, and lived together for a time before we all married. Such wonderful memories, especially that vacation we went on together when we were all broke and the gas shortage was in full bore. Oh, my. Loved Jimmy and Karen and still do. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jimmy and I were in high school together. He was one of the nicest people I remember there. You have suffered a great loss but I hope you take solace in knowing what a positive effect Jimmy had on so many, even after all these years.
I am saddened to learn of Jimmy's passing! He was such a special friend in high school - witty, sharp dresser, charming, and his laugh was contagious and memorable! Lifting prayers of comfort to his family!
Karen, Joe and I have you and your family in our prayers. We know you have so many friends and family to surround you with love, but know we are so sorry for the loss of a wonderful husband and father. God Bless you through this time. Love, Joe and Cilla Riley Dowdy
I love Jim Simpson, and will always treasure him for our shared experiences and a trusted friend. He was perhaps the best I know.
I was so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Great lawyer and former law partner. Too young to have left us.
With prayers and love to Karen, Caitlin, and Andrew, I am sorry for our loss here on earth. Jim was the epitome of an excellent servant leader in law, faith, and life, and he cherished his family dearly. We’ll miss him until we see him again. My heartfelt prayers for His Presence to bring comfort and peace beyond our understanding.
Sorry for your loss. A wonderful friend and brother. Anyone that ever met him will miss this great man. God Bless!
Getting to know and work with Jim Simpson was one of the great privileges I've had as an attorney. He was always so kind, warm and genuinely interested in people. A great loss of a man who was and will be remembered as a true prince of the legal profession.
After working for Jim for 5 1/2 years at FEC, I learned so much from him. Karen and Caitlin, I’m so sorry for your loss. Jim was a brilliant man and decent person. RIP Jim
He was what every lawyer should be.I could play poker with Jim over the phone knowing he would not take advantage.A great lawyer.A terrible loss.Jim Mc LartyTrial LawyerNewport
I worked at the Friday Firm for 25 years and retired in 2003 but those I worked with are still like family. My office was near Jim's and I would see him most every day with that big smile he always greeted people with. He was a professional in every way. Always looked up to him with much respect for the way he treated his co-workers. It was quite a shock to get the news of his passing. Karen and family, please know Jim will be missed by all of us who were blessed to have known him. Praying for peace and comfort from our Lord to carry you through this very tough time.
We are so very sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man. He was an excellent example of how our Lord and Savior works through His people. Brent and I both enjoyed getting to know him through our Sunday School class and both agree his method of teaching the word was a wonderful way to learn. He will be truly missed! Our thoughts and prayers are with you Karen and all his family and friends.
Karen and family- I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Although it has been many years since I’ve seen you and your family, I’ll never forget how kind and caring he was while teaching our singles class at Calvary. It was truly a blessing for me during that period in my life. Prayers for peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Karen, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from Jim. He was patient, kind and measured. Jim was also fun to be around. He liked to laugh. Jim will be missed by all that knew him.
Karen and Caitlin: We are heartbroken to learn of Jim's passing. Please know you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Mike and Beth Voss
No words can ever express the pain you are feeling.May you find comfort Jim was a man of God and trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior. And yes he and Scott are on thegolf course.
Karen, Caitlin, Andrew and other family members, I was so sorry to learn of your loss of Jim. I knew him when I worked for Friday, Eldredge and Clark. His obituary reflects what a kind man he was. You have my prayers for peace and comfort at this difficult time.Mary Lou Martin
Karen, I wish you strength and peace during this time. Very sorry for your loss
Jim was the epitome of what it means to be a Friday Firm lawyer. He was zealous and personable and always professional. I am proud to have called him a partner and friend. Praying for Karen and Caitlin.
Karen, Chuck and I are so sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. Prayers for peace and comfort.
I worked as a Paralegal for many years on both Plaintiff and Defendant cases and Mr. Simpson was always professional and a great lawyer. He will be missed in the legal community by many. Rest in peace. Lisa Creasey
My prayers for comfort and peace are with your family. Jim was always a light and had a warm, welcoming spirit. It was an honor to serve with him on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central AR and to also work briefly with him at the Friday Firm. He will be missed.
Karen, Caitlin and Andrew,Mike and I are so sorry about the loss of Jim. He adored you all and the sweet kids. He devoted himself to you and providing for you. The Arkansas legal community has lost a pillar. Having been friends for 45 years, and now having Caitlin in our family, has been a special part of my life. He was so very proud of all of you.
I am so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was very instrumental early in my legal career. You have my heartfelt sympathy.
Jim was a gifted lawyer, hard worker, an impeccably ethical lawyer, excellent softball player, mentor and a friend to all of the law firm’s members, especially the young clerks and lawyers. His personality, smile, leadership, sense of humor, compassion, and friendship will be greatly missed by one and all. Jim was a great help and source of wisdom and inspiration to me. My thoughts and prayers are with Karen and all the family. We WILL see Jim’s smiling face again someday. God bless his soul, and give strength and comfort to Karen and the family. 🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏
Karen, Caitlin and family, I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. There are never enough words to say at this time. Jim was a great person and will be missed by everyone who was blessed by knowing him. Blessings upon all of you.
Karen and family, my heart breaks for your loss. What a kind man and such a beautiful family. Sending so many hugs and prayers your way. Ann & Brandon Rogers
Dear Karen:Sincere condolences on the loss of Jim. He was a wonderful man.
Dear Karen and family, Kappi and I will miss Jim so much. We wish we had know him better. We know he was a man of excellence and loved the Lord Jesus. We have you in our prayers during this time of sadness. We love you. Ron and Kappi,Calvary
✌🏻✌🏻P E A C E ✌🏻✌🏻
When we heard of Jim’s death, it seemed like a nightmare that could not be true. You all were the most beautiful family and such an asset to the Friday Firm, your church, and the River Ridge neighborhood. Jim, indeed, loved a full lifetime during his 70 years. We are saddened beyond belief. Our prayers are with with you. Hugs, Byron and Carol Eiseman
So very sad for your loss of a great dad, husband. Thinking of you and family.
Karen, we are sad to hear of your loss and offer our heartfelt sympathy.
Karen and family, we were saddened to hear of Jim’s passing, may God give you comfort. Judd and Barbara Tolson
Dear Karen and Family,I was so saddened to hear of this. Jimmy was a good friend in college and I will never forget his laugh and how much fun he was and loved by all. You were such a great wife for him, Karen. I loved reading about his service to his church all these years. Bless you and your family as you go through this valley.Sincerely,Angela VanZandt Bumpass
Karen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Such a difficult time I know. My prayers are with you.
So sorry for your loss. May God continually bless all y’all going forward. Mark and Shelly May.
So very sorry for your loss.I knew Mr. Simpson from when I worked at FEC.
We called him Jimmy in high school. We were little more than classmates when I had a rather serious surgery in high school. While recuperating at home, Jimmy and his girlfriend at the time came for a visit. It so cheered me! I was most happy and proud to hear from classmates when he completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence! I am so thankful he enjoyed a great family life with his wife and daughter. Karen and Caitlin, you are in my prayers. One day at a time during this difficult period.
Karen, I was so saddened to read of the passing of your husband. I pray the many sweet memories will warm your heart in the difficult days ahead. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.
Dear Karen, Pam and Brenda,I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God comfort you as only He can.💗✝️💗
Sorry to hear of your loss….prayers for the family and may all your memories be fond ones
So very sorry for your loss Karen, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Kathy Boone
Karen and Caitlin,It doesn’t seem possible that Jim left us so soon. He is an incredible man, attorney, and valued member of many communities. It was an honor and pleasure to grow up next to your family. I will never forget Jim’s warmth and outgoing personality. Our world is worse for Jim’s passing but heaven is that much better off. I know you are devastated but pray your heartache subsides quickly and is replaced by happy memories of your time together. Please accept our deepest condolences. Doug, Lee Ann, Mason, and Preston Voss
Karen, Caitlin and Family, I am so sorry for your loss.
I am so sorry to hear of this. Our legal community will miss him. We shared years at McClellan High, Christ Lutheran School, and very occasionally a professional connection that was always pleasant. Karen and Caitlin, you have my prayers that you find comfort in his faith.
Karen, I am so sorry for the loss of Jim. I will be praying for you and your family.
Karen and Caitlin, I am so sorry for your loss. No words can ease the pain of grief you must be feeling. May you find comfort in knowing that you are surrounded by people that love you and pray for you. Just recently did I get to see Jim; the more I was saddened and shocked when I heard the tragic news. Praying for God’s comfort and strength.
Karen I’m so very saddened to hear the news of Jims passing. I’m sending my continued love, thoughts, prayers your way! I so will miss seeing his sweet loving face.I’m out of town so will not be able to be there Thursday or Friday but please know I’m there in spirit. When you two walked into The Rose my night automatically got better. He will forever be in all our hearts…
I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I always enjoyed our many conversations during our years at Calvary.
Jim and I were professional friends (I was a Court Reporter who took many depositions with Jim), and personal friends. The last time I saw him and Karen was at Trio's having dinner, and we had a wonderful catch-up chat there. I also would see him occasionally at Oaklawn, and always loved to visit with him. He was a true gentleman, and I appreciated the fact that he treated me as a "partner" taking depositions and not just a machine. He was courteous and kind, and even though after my retirement I didn't see him much, I always had a special part in my heart for him. He and Karen were a perfect match, and Caitlin was a product of a great love and companionship. Many of my friends have come and gone, but Jim will always be in my fondest memories. RIP dear Jim. I will see you over there one day!! Billie
Karen and Caitlin, Gary and I are so sorry for your loss. I know Jim’s legacy will be remembered by those he helped and mentored, as well as friends and family. May you find comfort and peace during this difficult time.Karen and Gary
Karen, we are so sorry for your loss. Jim was the kindest most caring man. We will join the hundreds lifting you up in our prayers. One day we will join Jim and together we will praise God for all he has done for us.
Dear Karen and Caitlin, we are so heartbroken and have continued to love and lift you all in our prayers. Heaven has gained and we will miss him so, but no one more than you two. Praying for God’s peace which passes all understanding for you both. We can only imagine the joy and glory that he is living now and are blessed with God’s assurance we will be reunited in heaven. He was one of my (B) favorite SS teachers and your family is precious to us. His faith and love for the Lord were evident every time we were together with him- in either SS, parties, worship, and gatherings. He was such a good listener and led lessons with knowledge and grace. Take care of yourselves and know that our hearts, minds, love and prayers are with you all. In Christ’s Love, Brenda & Gene Dorman, Kathlene, Martha and Jennifer Croft
Karen and Caitlin, I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. I have always admired his legal skills, his outgoing personality and his love for his family and God. May God be with you and your family during this difficult time.
Caitlin& Karen…so shocked to learn about Jim. What a great lawyer, dad, husband he was. He will be missed by many. Hugs to you. Thinking of you.
With deepest sympathy to Jim's family & loved ones. May God comfort & tightly gather you all in his love.
Dear Karen and Caitlin, I am heartbroken over the loss of Jimmy. I am so very sorry. You all have been in my prayers and will continue in the days ahead. Jimmy was always so welcoming, kind, loving, warm, friendly, he had the best smile and just made you feel good. He will be dearly missed. Asking God to comfort you with his Holy Spirit, wrap his loving arms around you and give you his peace. Love you dearly, Jenn Carlson Thomason
Karen/Caitlin I am so sorry for your loss. I remember his days of teaching the Singles at Calavary and the pool party we hard at your place. He will be missed by so many. My prayers are with you.