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David Lyman Sims
January 8, 1941 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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David Lyman Sims passed away on October 13, 2023, in Kent, Ohio at age 82. He was born on January 8, 1941 in Cleburne, Texas to Claudine Sims and Ralphnell Kidd Sims.
Dave grew up in Lubbock, Texas and graduated in 1960 from Monterrey High School. After high school he joined the Army and traveled all over Europe with a missile inspection team. He was primarily stationed in Sachsenheim, Germany and fell in love with the country. Notably, he was in Germany during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was down in a missile silo waiting for the order to launch. After his discharge Dave returned to Lubbock where he graduated from Texas Tech University. After a brief stint as a teacher, he joined the world of car and truck sales. He sold in El Paso, Texas, Wichita, Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado before landing in Roswell, New Mexico for the remainder of his career. He sold Pontiacs and GMC trucks for Reliable Motors and then spent many years at Roswell Ford. He was a master salesman who prided himself on providing his customers with exactly what they wanted and then making sure they received excellent customer service after the sale.
On March 1, 1980, Dave married Betsy Cunningham and together they raised four amazing children and welcomed eight beautiful grandchildren. Dave’s family was everything to him and he was never happier than when everyone was together and he could cook his big breakfasts and famous green chili stew. Dave and Betsy retired on the same day in 2010 and spent the next seven years traveling around the country visiting the kids and grandkids. Some of his fondest memories were of trips to Alaska to visit Betsy’s cousins in Unalakleet. He would return with a cooler full of salmon fillets and a wealth of stories, both of which he would share generously. In 2018 Dave suffered a massive stroke and was wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. The inactivity chafed on his adventurous spirit but a little dog named Neesa joined the household to comfort him and make him laugh. “You’re beautiful,” he would tell her, “but then all the Sims girls are beautiful.”
In 2022 Dave and Betsy moved to Ohio to be near family but Dave’s heart remained in the Southwest. “I’m a desert rat,” he would tell anyone he met. “Always have been, always will be.”
Dave was predeceased by his parents and by his older sister Billie Claudette Simmons.
He is survived by his wife, Betsy Cunningham; his brother and sister-in-law John and Debbie Sims of Lubbock, Texas; his children: Kathryn “Kit” Wilson and husband Kevin of Mesa, Arizona, Timothy Sims and wife Suzette of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, Kristen Heyburn and husband Paul of Houston, Texas and Regina Frank and husband Dan of Kent, Ohio. He is also survived by grandchildren, Emily, Zach and Levi Sims, Amanda and Ian Wilson, John and Elizabeth Heyburn and Abigail Frank.