Funeral service for James Max Sims, 87, of Lawton will be at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Lawton Ritter Gray Funeral Home Chapel.
Mr. Sims passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2019 with his children by his side.
A graveside service will follow at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Gracelawn Cemetery, Edmond, Oklahoma.
There will be a special viewing and visitation for family and friends on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
James was born on February 12, 1932 in Edmond, Oklahoma in the home of his grandmother, Mary Cromwell Potter. His parents were Q.C. Sims and Mary Potter Sims. He grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Foster High School, Oklahoma City in 1950. He then joined the United States Army on October 23, 1950. He completed his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and from there boarded the USS General William Weigel for Hokkaido, Japan. From there he went to the front lines in Korea. He was in Korea for about two years. He was wounded in action on June 15, 1952. He was in the 180th infantry, 45th Division (Thunder Birds), and the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He received many awards and medals including the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, with Bronze Service Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and the American Occupational Medal (Jap). James was discharged from Active Duty on October 22, 1953. While in the military James was pen-pals with Sally Sue Sims.
James and Sally were married on October 27, 1953 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Rev. J. Trivette. James and Sally lived in Oklahoma City and Edmond while James attended Central State College on the G.I. Bill. He received his Bachelors Degree in Education with emphasis in Industrial Arts on May 29, 1958. After graduation, James was employed by the YMCA, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He worked for the YMCA for approximately four years. He received his Masters Degree in Education with emphasis in Industrial Arts on July 27, 1969. He began his teaching career as an Industrial Arts teacher with the public school systems in Guthrie, Oklahoma and Wellston, Oklahoma. He also drove a school bus while at these schools to earn extra money to support his family. James was the Industrial Arts teacher at Fort Sill Indian School, Lawton, Oklahoma from 1964 until 1980. He especially enjoyed his years teaching at the Fort Sill Indian School. After the school closed, he returned to public schools and taught Industrial Arts at Apache, Oklahoma and Lawton, Oklahoma (Eisenhower High School). After his retirement from teaching, he spent several years working home repairs and arts and crafts shows in the Lawton area and surrounding communities.
James and Sally enjoyed bowling, square dancing, camping, fishing, arts and crafts shows, and visiting with friends and family. He also enjoyed hunting and shooting clay targets, renovating his home, and building additional structures on his property. He had a life long love of golf and played golf throughout his life.
He is survived by his children, James Max Sims II, of Lawton, Mary Ann Tippens, of Lawton, David Lee Sims of Ennis, Texas; two brothers, Terry Sims and wife, Kathy, Blanchard, OK and Gary Sims and wife, Carmen, of Midland, TX; two brothers in law, Tommy Pitts and his wife, Co, of El Reno, OK and Roy Pitts and his wife, Carol, of Edmond, OK; his grandchildren, Tiffanie Tippens, Shannon and Brad Neil, Morgan and Chase Brazil, Tanner Sims, Tricia Sims, James Max Sims III, Robby Sims, Carly Sims, and Landon Sims; four great grandchildren Madelyn Neil, Parker Neil, Hazel Brazil, and Serenity Montgomery, and one great grandson on the way; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of loving friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Q.C. and Mary P. Sims; his wife, of 61 years, Sally Sue Sims; his brother, John Sims; and two brothers in law, Jimmy Pitts and William Pitts, and his mother and father in law, Ruby and James Pitts.