Col. Richard Joseph Sims

Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2018

Col. Richard Joseph Sims attended his last roll call and played his last note on June 23, 2018.  He died from complications of lymphoma and prostate cancers. He was born to Dick and Ruby Sims in Troy on October 31, 1933.

Visitation will be held Friday, June 29, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at Dillard Funeral Home in Troy with interment following at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy with Minister Thaylon Maddox officiating and Dillard Funeral Home of Troy directing.

He started playing the trombone when he was 9 years old.  His first job was winding the clock at the courthouse in Troy. He graduated from Troy High School in 1952, having already joined the Alabama National Guard.  He attended Troy University and was a member of the concert and Waveman bands.  He graduated from Regents University of New York.

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In 1955, he married Sissy Prescott of Brundidge. They had three children, Mimi, Gina and Mike.  In the late 1950s, he went to Jump School and Officer Candidate School. He was a charter member of the 20th Special Forces.   Joe witnessed several historical events in Alabama in his official military capacity, two of which were the integration of the University of Alabama and the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March.  Joe always said that Dr. King had the most magnificent and captivating speaking voice he had ever heard.

Later, Joe married Judy Beavers and they had a son, Phillip.  Joe served on several Guard advisory boards, including the Chief of Training for the State of Alabama, during his career. He retired from the Guard in 1993 with 40-plus years of service.

After retirement, Joe and Judy did a great deal of travelling until her death in 1999.  Joe began playing his trombone again. He joined the Capital Sounds, The Upbeats, The Recreators and the Southeast Alabama Community bands.  He truly enjoyed playing music and socializing with his fellow trombone bandmates. He kept in close contact with his 20th Special Forces Army brothers.

He was a member of the Macedonia Church of Christ for many years.

Joe is predeceased by his parents; his sister, Mary Elizabeth (Lib) Lacy; his wife, Judy Sims and his daughter, Gina Pittman.   He is survived by his daughter, Mimi Sims; sons, Mike Sims (Sherye) and Phillip Wilson (Robyn); his former wife of 30 years, Sissy Yancey; stepchildren, Kenny Carter (Melody), Donnie Carter (Cindy), Mikki Wooten (Darren), and Jody Wilson; 13 grandchildren and five great-granddaughters.

Honorary pallbearers are his trombone bandmates Allen Dennis, Dr. Mac Porter, Lew Simons, Gene Moseley and Dan Bailey, and his 20th Special Forces brothers, Col. Tom Boggs, Col. L. Z Johnson, Col. Jim Horak, Lt. Col. Leonard Cowling, Lt Col. Mike Cress and Lt. Col. Collins Wynn and special friends Cliff Carroll, George Gilmore and Ted Turnipseed.  Pallbearers are his grandsons Jon Sims, Steve Witherington, Byne Goodin, Kyle Goodin, Chase Witherington and his friend, Ben McAlister.

The family wishes to extend gratitude for the excellent care Joe received to Baptist Hospice, Troy Regional Home Health and Troy Alacare.

Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to your charity of choice, Salvation Army, or Renascence House, 213 Clayton Street, Montgomery, AL 36104.

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