(Richard) Bruce Simpson

Obituary of (Richard) Bruce Simpson

(Richard) Bruce Simpson of Waterloo, Ontario, passed away on December 11, 2020 at Freeport Hospital in Kitchener. Bruce had been living with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia for several years.

Bruce was born May 26, 1940, in Leamington, Ontario, to Agnes Bruce and Richard Simpson. He was raised in Toronto where he attended Humberside Collegiate. Bruce graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Math, Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1962. He went on to complete a Master of Applied Science in aeronautical engineering at Toronto in 1963 and a doctorate degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Maryland in 1966. Bruce continued his academic career by pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at California Technical Institute from 1966 to 1968 and then became a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1968-1971. He returned to Canada in 1971 as a professor at the University of Waterloo in Computer Science. Research interests were in mesh generation and triangulation. Bruce retired in 2005.

During his academic career, Bruce served as Chair of Computer Science from 1984 to 1987, at which time he was on the Formative Committee for the Information Technology Research Centre. This was also during the time the Davis Centre at the University of Waterloo was built.  In the 1990s, Bruce served on the Graduate Appraisal Panel for the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies. Bruce was honoured to be named a ‘Pioneer of Computing in Canada’ by IBM in 2005. 

Bruce maintained an active lifestyle. He enjoyed many different sports including lacrosse, basketball, hockey, squash, skiing, and tennis. Bruce continued to play tennis well into his time living with Parkinson’s. He also greatly enjoyed music, both classical and popular styles, and playing the piano.   Family camping trips and travel were also favourite recreational activities. Bruce embraced opportunities to live abroad during his sabbaticals in England and France. His career also provided opportunities for travel to a wide variety of international locations. Growing up as the son of a United Church minister, he continued to enjoy the church community as an adult and was an engaged member of Knox Waterloo where he was involved in the Men’s Group. Upon retirement, Bruce looked for opportunities to give back to his community, serving as President and Tennis Co-ordinator for Beechwood II, and was instrumental in the Special Area Levy. 

Bruce is pre-deceased by his mother (Agnes), father (Richard), and first wife (Gwen Simpson). He is survived by many loved ones including his wife (Janis), children (Chris/Jim, Jackie/Matt, Rick/Roshni, Geoff/Jane), ten grandchildren, and sister (Elizabeth). Bruce maintained loving relationships with extended family members and a multitude of lifelong friends.

A cremation has taken place and a small family funeral will be held. A time for all to join the family in a Celebration of Life will be announced in the future. Bruce’s family is asking that those wanting to honour him consider donations to Knox Waterloo, the Alzheimer’s Society, Grand River Hospital (Kitchener), or the Parkinson’s Society. Memorial donations and condolences for the family may be arranged through the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo, www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.

Special thanks to Freeport staff for their wonderful care.


A Celebration of Life for Bruce will be held on July 11th, 2021, by invitation.

Additional Information

A cremation has taken place and a small family funeral will be held. A time for all to come join the family in a Celebration of Life will be announced in the future.
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