Jacob Brent Simpson
JACOB BRENT SIMPSON, 24. OCTOBER 14, 1996 – JANUARY 26, 2021.
Our beloved son and brother, Jacob Brent Simpson, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at his apartment in Midwest City, Oklahoma. While his life ended much too soon, Jacob’s impact on his family, friends, and the world in general will be felt forever.
Jacob was born October 14, 1996 to Rodney and Laura Simpson in Livingston. He was a happy, inquisitive, creative, and logical little boy who took on the role of big brother when his sister, Kaitlyn Anna was born in 1999. His love and protection for his sister were never-ending and fierce. From his earliest days of learning at Debbie’s daycare to his grade school years in Livingston, Dodson, and Geraldine, Jacob was passionate about science in all its many levels and forms. For many years his greatest worry was “what kind of scientist should I be?” and it seemed the answer to this question constantly evolved as his experiences and knowledge of the world grew and motivated him to seek out understanding of subjects beyond his years. Jacob was also born with a natural gift of athleticism and a healthy dose of competitiveness that served him well as he played basketball in grandma’s basement with his sister and cousins, played summer league baseball, or ran cross county with the older kids. He proudly wore the green and white of the Dodson Coyotes and the orange and black of the Geraldine Tigers.
In 2010, Jacob and our family made a final move to Deer Lodge, where Jacob completed his high school education at Powell County High School, graduating as salutatorian of the Class of 2015. It was here that Jacob found his passion and gift for mathematics and continued his athletic pursuits. He was a proud Warden and wore the blue and gold all four years in three sports – football (wide receiver/defensive back), basketball (forward) and track (330 hurdles/pole vault). He excelled on the playing fields, earning many honors and awards, and more importantly to him earning the respect of his teammates, coaches, and fellow competitors for his intense drive and commitment to excellence.
Upon graduation, Jacob attended Montana Tech in Butte from 2015 to 2019 where he truly found his academic home, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Sciences. His freshman year of college he was a member of the Oredigger Basketball team as a redshirt. During his sophomore year, he was selected by the national program SMART Scholars for a full ride scholarship and contract to work for the Department of Defense upon graduation. He began a research project with his professor and mentor, Dr. Atish Mitra, that afforded him the opportunity to present his work at a mathematical symposium at Gonzaga University his senior year.
Jacob’s SMART Scholar contract took him to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, where he worked since 2019 as a member of the 38th Division of Cyber Security and the 557th Software and Engineering Squadron as a member of an elite Machine Learning team working on the B1-Bomber series with top security clearances. Here he met and worked with talented civilian Airmen. He enjoyed becoming an Oklahoman, drinking sweet tea and exploring the big city, but he never forgot his Montana roots and always longed to be closer to his family and friends where the seasons actually changed.
Jacob was a young man of many self-taught eclectic talents. He was an avid reader and musician, teaching himself to play the violin and electric guitar; a connoisseur of chess; a comic book collector; a student of physics and logic; a passionate basketball fan; and a self-driven thinker and athlete who enjoyed pushing himself and competing. But most of all, Jacob’s quiet ways always connected with his true friends and forged bonds that brought him great joy and friendships with people of all ages.
Jacob is survived and loved by his parents, Rodney and Laura Simpson of Deer Lodge; his sister and best friend Kate of Boise, Idaho; paternal grandparents Bob and Avis Simpson of Lewistown; maternal grandparents Paul and Judy Alisch of Chinook, Uncle Randy (Carol) Simpson and cousins Robbie and Ryan of Bozeman; Aunt Stephanie Simpson of Lewistown; Uncle Russell (Tina) Alisch and cousins Ayden, Carter, Callen, and Avie of Chinook; Uncle Todd (Lori) Alisch and cousins Evan, Marin, and Jasper of Havre; Aunt Kristen (Ben) Moore and cousins Emma and Patrick of Baker; Aunt Jackie (Casey) Schreiner and cousins Clara and Tyson of Park City; numerous other extended family and so many dear friends that have earned the title of family.
Final arrangements are being handled by Creel Funeral Home of Lewistown and Ford Funeral Service of Midwest City, Oklahoma. Cremation will take place in Oklahoma and we will plan a memorial service to honor Jacob and celebrate his life at a future date. We request that any memorials be made to the Montana Tech Math Department for a scholarship in Jacob’s name.
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