Cover photo for Claude S. Simpson's Obituary
Claude S. Simpson Profile Photo
1928 Claude 2016

Claude S. Simpson

October 25, 1928 — March 7, 2016

Claude S. Simpson, bridge contractor and businessman, died on Monday, March 7 at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga due to complications from surgery. He was born on October 25, 1928 near McDonald, Tennessee and lived in Bradley County his entire life. Claude lived an active life up to the date of his death.


He is the son of the late Carlos Colburn and Winnie Bell Everett Simpson and was preceded in death by his three older brothers, Carlos Eugene Simpson, Joe Hughlin Simpson, and Hugh Deadrick Simpson, brother in law James Oliver Self, and sisters in law Josephine Elizabeth Morelan Simpson and Elizabeth Neeley Liggett Simpson.


Claude graduated from Bradley High School in 1946 where he was vice president of his senior class and captain of the 1946 football team. Following High School, in June 1948, Claude and his father Carlos and brothers founded Simpson Construction Company. The firm, which is active to this date, continues to build bridges, culverts, railway structures, and specialized heavy structural construction in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia. Claude was also owner of Cleveland Ready Mix, and co-owner of Ross Prestressed Concrete, Greenstar Construction, and Interstate Concrete Construction.


Many bridges over the rivers of east and middle Tennessee are the product of Claude’s work. He spanned the French Broad, Doe, Hiwassee, Holston, Clinch, Caney Fork, Tellico, Elk, Conasauga, Sequatchie, Little Tennessee, Harpeth, Obey and many more rivers and creeks of the Tennessee Valley (many of them multiple times). Locally, Exit 20 on I-75 and the Hiwassee Bridge on US11 at Resolute Forest Products are only a couple of his many Bradley County projects over sixty years.


Claude enjoyed many things including hunting, fishing, and University of Tennessee football, but he especially was known for quietly supporting educational and charitable causes.  One example is the Carlos and Winnie Simpson Scholarship at the University of Tennessee that continues to help many young lives.


Survivors include his sister, Bettye Louise Simpson Self of Crystal River, Florida, sister in law Betty Frances Cartwright Simpson of Atlanta, Georgia, his friend and companion Dot Carson of Cleveland, Tennessee and her children and family, and nine nieces and nephews and their spouses and their children.


A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 11 at 1:00 P.M. at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens with Rev. Doyle A. McCracken officiating.


Memorials can be made to either the Salvation Army, 435 Inman St W, Cleveland, TN 37311 or the

National MS Society; P.O. Box 4527; New York, NY 10163.


We invite you to visit to view the obituary and leave a message of condolence.


Arrangements are being handled by Grissom-Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claude S. Simpson, please visit our flower store.


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