Robert Frederick Sympson, age 86 of Athens passed away Friday evening, Jan. 3, 2014 at Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. He resided at The Lindley Inn in The Plains.
Robert “Bob” was born June 21, 1927 in Ft. Madison, Iowa to Lake and Frederica Sympson. He spent his early childhood in Moline, Illinois and later Chariton, Iowa. In 1936, his family moved to Dallas City, Illinois. He graduated from Dallas City High School in 1945 and then served 15 months in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After discharge, Bob attended Monmouth College and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He continued his studies at the University of Illinois, earning his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1954. While at the University of Illinois, he met and married the love of his life, Mary Ann Hard. They moved to Athens in 1954 when Bob joined the chemistry faculty at Ohio University.
Bob taught at Ohio University until 1992. During that time he served as department chairman twice and did research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee and Argonne National Laboratories in Illinois, as well as for Diamond Shamrock in Painesville, Ohio, and Shell Oil in Houston, Texas.
Bob was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Athens. An avid sportsman, he played handball and tennis for many years. He also played in the city softball leagues and ran in the Indian Summer Runs. He spent several years playing tuba in the Communiversity Band. He served on the city zoning board, and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. He was a member and past master of Paramuthia Lodge 25 F.& A.M. and the Athens York Rite Bodies.
Bob is survived by four children- Elizabeth (Ivan) Rothman of Seattle, Washington, Richard Sympson of Athens, Margaret Sympson of Orlando, Fla., and Joyce (Alan) Green of Columbus; seven grandchildren- Danielle (Elijahu) Zaychik, Emily Rothman, Sophie Rothman, Laura Green, Charlotte Green, Adam Green and Rachel Green; two great grandchildren- Avraham and Joshua Zaychik.
Besides his parents he is preceded in death his wife, Mary Ann Sympson who died in 2010 and an infant brother, John Sympson.
Funeral service will be conducted Thursday 11:00AM at First United Methodist Church, 2 S. College St., Athens with Rev. Wendy Lybarger officiating. Burial will be in West Union St. Cemetery. Friends may call Wednesday 4-6pm at Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, Athens. Paramuthia Lodge 25 F.& A.M. will hold Masonic services Wednesday at 6:00pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 2S. College St., Athens, Ohio 45701 or a charity of choice.
Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com.