Legendary and award-winning broadcaster Agnes Simpson died Monday afternoon following an illness.
Mrs. Simpson and her husband, R.A. Dowling, founded WOOF-AM Radio in 1947---later adding Dothan's first FM station to the operation. Mr. Dowling died in an accident leaving his wife to operate the radio stations in what was then a male-dominated business world. "I had four mouths to feed," she later reflected.
Mrs. Simpson blazed a path of success despite making some decisions that didn't sit well with some. She began offering black gospel programming on WOOF and---decades later---it still airs Sundays. She is one of the last individual owners of a major radio station having, according to those who know, rejected purchase offers by large broadcasting corporations.
"Ms. Agnes," as she was lovingly called by her employees, was the first female director elected to the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the first woman to join the Dothan Kiwanis Club, and the first selected as Alabama Broadcaster of the Year. She was also a recipient of the Dothan Advertising Federation Pioneer Award and a member the first Business Hall of Fame--an award she won less than a year ago. She was also a former member of the U.S. Navy. Agnes Simpson was 87.
Funeral services will be announced by Sunset Memorial Park.