William “Bill” Sims, 1932-2016
Bill Sims was born on Jan. 27, 1932, and grew up in Paint Rock, Texas. He had two older brothers and one older sister. He died at home on Aug. 29.
He met Dorothy Sue Lowe of Sterling City, and there was no one else fit for him after that. They married on Jan. 28, 1955, and were married 61 years. Sue said there was never a man as hardheaded as Bill when he set his mind to it.
After graduating from Texas Tech University, Bill went to work for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service as Assistant County Agent for Howard County. Both of the couple’s children were born there. After a year or so, he became County Agent for Irion County, and the family moved to Mertzon. He was known for his happy demeanor. Soon, his co-workers figured Bill was fair game for an occasional joke, one of the best of which was putting a live rattlesnake in his pickup as he was showing some big-wigs around town. The harder he tried to get in the truck, the faster they were trying to get out. His “friends” were across the street in a shop rolling in the aisles.
Bill went on to work as executive secretary for the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association in June of 1966. As before, the job was an immediate fit for him and those who worked with him. He was a sheep man to the core, and he had a good relationship with everyone. His secretary said he used to drive her crazy checking everything she did, as they had the same personality. She finally sat him down and explained that she would go over every minute detail if he would just let her do her job. He worked for TSGRA for nearly 30 years.
Bill was all about inclusion, and he made it clear from the very beginning. If people weren’t willing to work together, he wasn’t interested in working with them. He brought that spirit of cooperation with him to Austin when he was elected state senator in 1982. During his tenure, he represented 57 and a half Texas counties. He is the only state senator to have represented that many counties.
In 1995, Bill suffered a major stroke, and many thought he would not make it. Those who knew him well knew that he had both hands and feet on death’s door and wasn’t about to go through. Sure enough, just like when he was stricken with polio as a youth, he worked his way back to health and did not retire until 1997. He wasn’t as spry as he once was, and he couldn’t do what he used to do, but he could still do what he had always done best, which was love his family and friends with his whole heart.
Bill is survived by his wife Sue of San Angelo; son Billy and wife Danell, Paint Rock; and daughter Sue Ann, Paint Rock; grandchildren Meredith Powell and Clay, Camilla, Ga.; Jacob Sims and Chelsea, Abilene, Texas; Abigail Young and James, Trophy Club, Texas; Bailey Strouhal and Brian, Midland, Texas; and Giles Setzler, Brownwood, Texas; great-grandchildren Landry, Larson and Wyatt Powell and Wills Young; brother Ben Sims and Sue, and sister Kay Campbell and Fred, all of Paint Rock.