Steven Gary Sims passed away peacefully in Dunlap, Tennessee on Thursday April 11, 2019. Gary was born on March 23, 1951 in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, the son of Lillian and Joe Sims. He was the most devoted husband of 45 years to Sara Ward Sims. A memorial service to honor his life will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 10:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Artesia.
Gary was a lifelong student beginning with the old Mowbray Elementary and Middle School and finishing at Soddy Daisy High School. He was most fond of his dear alma mater The University of the South at Sewanee. He earned a major in English with a minor in Latin and enjoyed extracurricular activities with the Chi Psi Fraternity. Gary was a proud letterman in both football and baseball for the fighting Tigers. The honor code at Sewanee was a cornerstone in Gary's life. He believed Sewanee was the closest place to Heaven on Earth. After graduation, Gary was a high school history teacher and coach in Palatka, Florida for two years.
Sara and Gary were married in Nashville, Tennessee on July 23rd, 1974 and moved to Artesia, New Mexico in September of 1975 at the death of Sara's dad. At that time, Gary joined J. S. Ward & Son, Inc, the family insurance agency and spent his early years under the mentorship of Mr. J S "Grand-daddy Fritz" Ward. His career as an insurance agent is overflowing with customers who became dear friends, colleagues who became collaborators, and employees who became family.
When he wasn't working, he spent countless hours supporting his two daughters Anna and Abbie. They were his very reason for being. His girls also gave him his second wind earning his most coveted title of G-Dad. He chased his girls and grandkids across the globe to cheer them on in any endeavor they chose.
Gary lived the life of a servent as defined by his faith in his Savior Jesus Christ. His faith was lived out daily in his love for others including his church The First Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Artesia. The fruit of the Spirit was always evident in his daily living.
Gary was never more in his element than when enjoying a crisp fall night at Bulldog Bowl with his friends of the Artesia Quarterback Club cheering on his many Quarterback Sons and their teammates through the years. He never missed a chance to support the ‘Dogs in any sport.
Gary believed in the power of being optimistic. His "can-do" attitude afforded him many volunteer opportunities in the community that he loved. He will be remembered for giving of his time, money and energy as a member of the Men's Golf Association, Artesia Girls Softball Association, United Way of Artesia, Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico, Teen Community Bible Study, City of Artesia Planning and Zoning, Rotary Club and as a Board member of the Artesia Special Hospital District and College of the Southwest.
Gary joins his parents Lillian and Joe Sims, sister Agnes Sims, brothers Lamar and Sammy Sims and sister-in-law Louise Sims in heaven. Survivors include his wife Sara Sims; daughters Anna Sims Whitmire and husband Josh and Abbie Sims Butler and husband Tye; grandkids Jack, Beau and Taylor Byers, Saydie Butler, and Jett and Jenna Whitmire; 8 siblings Marlin Sims, Mildred Barker, Fay Tryon, Catherine Heard, Ed Sims, Joe Sims and wife Linda, Nancy Vandegriff and husband Charles, and Patricia Phillips and husband Ray; and loads and loads of nieces and nephews.
His legacy is his large love of people, his simple ways, and his entertaining stories. Well done good and faithful servant!