Adelaide Anderson Simpson: Dec. 5, 1923 - June 2, 2017

Adelaide Anderson was born on Dec. 5, 1923, in Rock Hill, S.C., to Carrie Jerome Johnson and William Adlai Anderson.

After graduating from Winthrop College at age 19 she was awarded a graduate scholarship to Vanderbilt.  Instead, in Sept. 8, 1943, she married George Herbert Simpson Jr., who was home from combat in the North African theater of World War II. Herb and Adelaide moved 25 times. Among their homes:  Heidelberg, Germany, Fort Meade, Md., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Shafter, Hawaii, Arlington, Ft Knox, Ky., and finally a number of homes on and off the VMI post. The only home they ever owned was their last where Herb died in 1993 after serving as Commandant of Cadets and Military Executive Officer at VMI.  It was at that house on Stonewall Street where she carefully tended her flower beds and rose garden and “adopted” VMI cadets and W&L students far from their own homes. Her signature act of kindness was preparing flower arrangements for her friends’ weddings, dinner parties and funerals. 

Adelaide was also a docent at The Stonewall Jackson House and she was an active member of the R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church. Adelaide was the consummate military wife helping to build Herb’s 50-year career. She enjoyed substitute teaching English at local schools and taught illiterate prisoners in Lexington jails to read and write. She was instrumental in bringing Kendal to Lexington, serving on its board for many years, and was the facility’s first resident.

Adelaide authored two books -- one a collection of her favorite recipes, the other a biography including stories of witnessing the war crimes trials at Nuremburg, Herb’s secret work on American involvement in the Vietnam war and less dramatic but no less important tales of endless games with her grand kids and biscuits at every meal.

She is survived by a daughter, Ann S. Zelenak of Richmond; a son, George H. Simpson III and his wife, Cleary, of New Canaan, Conn.; and six grandchildren. She was predeceased by her three sisters - Elizabeth, Virginia and Caroline.

A memorial service will be held at R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church at 11 a.m. and at Kendal at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2017. A reception will follow at Kendal.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to CMTA ( to help find a cure for a condition affecting one of her grandchildren.

Arrangements by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.


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