The Life and Legacy of Horace Edgar Sims
A giant and servant among men, Mr. Horace Edgar Sims has traded mortality for Immortality with God on Thursday March 17, 2022 in Ashland, Alabama surround by his children and his caregivers. Horace Sims was born on April 1, 1936 to Palestine Sr. and Nellie Baker Sims. He was 85 Years old.
At an early age he professed Christ and led a long life of service to God and the communities in which he served. He was the Lay Leader at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Ashland. When he moved to Talladega, he acquiesced to the Lay Leader of Jacobs Chapel. Later he converted to the Baptist denomination and rose once again to be Chairman of the Deacon Board at Mount Canaan Baptist Church, where he served until his demise.
Horace Sims attended Clay County Training School where he was a Football stand-out and after graduation he matriculated to Alabama A & M University where he played quarterback. After college he enlisted in the U. S. Army and received an Honorable Discharge. He married the love of his life Irene Watkins Sims and they had 4 children. While growing up and until his manhood, his father owned a corner grocery store. So like the example of his father, Horace became an entrepreneur, when he owned and operated his very own Dairy Queen Restaurant. On May 1st, 1967, Mr. Sims took on a job as the Summer Youth Coordinator of Community Action Agency. 7 months later, he was promoted to Deputy Director of Operations. In 1970 he became the first full time Director of Head Start Program in Talladega; Mr. Sims helped establish several more Head Start programs throughout 4 Counties during his tenure. He helped establish the Alabama Head Start Association with member programs all over the State. As Chairman of the Alabama Head Start Association, the organization grew Statewide in large part due to his superb management and administration skills to write grants and policies. Community Action Agency, which initially served Four (4) Counties of Talladega, Clay, Cleburne and Randolph Counties helped to pay rent, power bills, gas , water, groceries, remodeling, wheel chair accessibility, weatherization, Community bus service, computer lessons, Head Start Programs and job skills training for low or moderate income families. In 1972 he was promoted again, this time to Deputy Executive Director of Community Action Agency and in 1997, he was promoted to Executive Director in charge of the entire agency with an initial annual budget of $3.5 million. Under his leadership and management, the annual budget exponentially grew from 3.5 million to $12 million; and Calhoun County was added for a total of 5 Counties serving 30, 000 people annually. He retired in 2010 with 44 years of continuous, compassionate and honorable service to the people of East Alabama.
He was a member of the Clay County Industrial Board and the Talladega City Recreation Board. He was Chairman of the Civil Service Board for many years. Mr. Sims was a General Inspector, 33rd Degree in the Free and Accepted Masons Lodge # 963, earning the highest worldwide degree possible. Horace Sims was past President of the Lions Club in Clay County, Past President of the Red Door Kitchen ( 3 year term) and Past President of the Talladega Chapter of Alabama & M University Alumni Association. He was selected to Who’s Who Among Talladegians in 1992 by TCDC and served 6 terms as Alabama Head Start Association President.
Mr. Sims has received too many commendations and accolades to list, but he was most proud of the awards such as a letter of Appreciation from Coretta Scott King, Proclamations and Awards by former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Alabama State Senator Jim Preuitt, United States Senator Howell Heflin, United States House of Representatives Member Glen Browder, just to name a few. Recently he received an award for 14 years of outstanding service to the Talladega City Civil Service Board in August 2021 and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Citizens of Ashland in November 2020.
Horace Sims was preceded in death by his father, mother, his wife Irene Watkins Sims, grandson Edward “Eddie Kane” Sims, ex wife Shirley S. Sims and all his siblings to include brothers: Palestine Jr., Frank, Thurman, Charles; and one sister Sue. He is survived by his children Meriam Sims (Eddie) Tucker, Bruce (Sherrie) Sims, Carol Ann Sims, Angela Seymour, grand children Eddie (EJ) Tucker Jr., Tacovi Barclay, Franklin Few, Tyler Sims, Ashley Ann, Nakia White and a host of great grand children nieces, nephews and cousins.
The Family thanks all of his caregivers and especially his children, the Zion Memorial Funeral Home, Mount Canaan Baptist Church and for your calls, flowers, visits and acts of kindness. Interment will at old Field Cemetery. Ashland Alabama following the services.