Meridian Star

September 11, 2013

Lee Simmons Sims


The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Mrs. Lee Simmons Sims, 91, passed away on September 9, 2013. Services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Meridian with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Graveside services will be in Tylertown at Tylertown Cemetery at 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

          She was born on January 16, 1922, to William Eugene and Ethel Simmons of Tylertown. She was the wife of the late H. J. Sims of Columbia. Survivors include one daughter Judy Sims Pettey and her husband Joe of Meridian; grandchildren, Bobby Wallace (Missy) of Vicksburg and Tracie Hallberg of Orange Beach and Dr. David Pettey(Heather). She also had nine great-grandchildren: Harlan, Cody, Mallory, Beau, Baylee, Anna Blair, Carson, Reed and Winston.

          She was a teacher full of energy for more than fifty years which always included wearing her high heels. She had a unique way of getting the point across to her students which included standing on her desk, singing a song and doing most anything to see learning take place. Her style of teaching was very unorthodox. “I don’t stick strictly to the prim and proper. I will do anything to get something across to my students. I will put on a show. I’ll do antics that they have never seen and are astounded. You do something like that and they remember”.

          Many of those years were spent teaching at Columbia Academy in Columbia. The Mississippi Private School Education Association recognized her as Mississippi Teacher of the Year in 1983 among private schools. Columbia Academy is one of about 100 schools that make up the Private School Education Association.

          Before teaching at the Academy, Mrs. Sims taught twelve years in the Columbia City School System and ten years in the Tylertown Public School System. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and has done graduate work at Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

          She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teachers organization, State Chairman of the Private School Association English Department, past president of the Columbia Education Association and chairman of the School and Community Committee for the city school’s evaluation.

          Mrs. Sims, an avid reader, has served as chairman of both the regional board of trustees and advisory board of trustees for the South Mississippi Regional Library. She also served as alderman during the 1980-1981 session fulfilling the term of her late husband.

          She was a member of the Columbia Cosmopolitan Club, past president of the Town Club, a member and former Chapter Regent of the Catherine Ard Chapter of the DAR, a member of the Colonial Dames of the IXVII Century, and a former secretary of the Mississippi Federation of Women’s Clubs.

          Mrs. Sims served on the administrative board of the First United Methodist Church of Columbia, Mississippi.

          In October, 2007, Mrs. Sims moved to Meridian to be near her daughter.