Former stalwart of the city council dies; OBITUARY: Tributes paid to ex-boss remembered for integrity and high standards.
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Coventry City Council chief who has died at the age of 65.
Jack Simpson, a former city engineer who spent 30 years working for the council, had suffered a stroke on April 11. He died in hospital on Wednesday.
He had devoted his working life to trying to reduce accidents on Britain's roads.
Mr Simpson left the city council in 1992 and went to work for consultants TMS (Traffic Management and Safety Ltd) at Warwick University science park.
He regularly ran three miles during his lunch break, had competed in marathons and was due to play cricket for the city planners' team this season.
The father of two was born in Durham and arrived in Coventry as a graduate civil engineer in 1962. He and wife Lorna went on to bring up their two children in the city.
Mark Rainbow, a former city council colleague who moved to TMS because of Mr Simpson's "inspirational" work on accident reduction, said: "Jack could be blunt and didn't always say a lot - but he commanded a lot of respect and when he did speak you would take good notice.
"He carried an aura about him. He was never unprepared. If he did anything he did it properly - never half-cock. Everyone respected his engineering excellence, integrity and high standards."
Chris Beck, former director of Coventry's Phoenix Initiative, said: "Jack was really the last head of the city's engineering department which at its height employed between 600 and 800 people. During his time he created a department of which all his staff were fiercely proud. I regarded him as my boss, my mentor and my friend."
When he originally arrived in the city, Mr Simpson helped complete part of the inner ring road then went on to tackle a number of projects including the airport development at Baginton and Phoenix Way.
When the Pope visited Coventry in 1982, Mr Simpson helped organise the visit and received a commendation from the Papal Office. He was also involved in safety during the city's Blitz commemorations in 1990.
During his second career with TMS, he conducted safety audits as far away as Iceland and Greece.
Mr Simpson leaves widow Lorna, son Neil, daughter Amanda, and five grandchildren.
Details of his funeral are still being arranged.
MISSION... Jack Simpson was dedicated to safety.