A.R. “Red” Sims, who served on the Ouachita Parish School Board for 32 years, died last week at the age of 99.
“He was a good man,” said School Board President Jerry Hicks, of West Monroe. “He’ll be missed, I assure you.”
Sims represented District C, which encompasses a significant portion of western Ouachita Parish, including West Ouachita High School. In 2018, Sims decided not to seek re-election to the School Board in light of his poor health.
“His impact to the community, to District C and West Ouachita schools was great,” said School Board member Scotty Waggoner, who currently represents District C. “His legacy will be felt for years to come.”
“He set the bar high for me and the other board members,” Waggoner added.
Sims was widely known as a fixture at schools in western Ouachita Parish, because he visited the schools regularly. When he spoke of problems at the schools during board meetings, he referred to his own firsthand experience, not simply hearing complaints from constituents.
“He cared about kids, because he was there every day,” Hicks said. “Until he was in a wheelchair, he was up there every single day. Helping kids was a part of his life. He was just probably one of the best board members you would ever run across.”
A funeral service celebrating Sims’ life was held Sept. 9 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.
Rev. Randy Burdeaux and Charles Dykes officiated. Interment followed in the Pleasant Hill Church Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home in West Monroe.
Sims was born on Aug. 26, 1920 and died on Sept. 6.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Mabel Griggs Sims; parents, Marion and Alma Sims; brothers, Leon Sims, Percy Sims, Robert Sims; and great grandchild, Salior Hall.
Sims was a member of Pleasant Hill Church in West Monroe. He served in education for 66 years and was a member of the Ouachita Parish School Board for 32 years. He was also a Mason with Cadeville Lodge #229 F&AM for 70 years.
Survivors included his son, Ronnie Sims (Ida); grandchildren, Terry Sims (Sheryl), Lance Sims (Karen), Nikki Hall (Lincoln), and Lennie Sims (Crystal); great grandchildren, Layine Hopfinger (Heath), Hallie Sims, Case Sims, Austin Sims (Triston), Averie Sims, Presley Busby (Brandon), Tori Sims, Nathan Sims, Brianna Sims, Bryce Shrull, Brett Shrull, Logan Hackworth (Megan), Memorie Hall; great great grandchildren, Thatcher Hopfinger, Beckett Hopfinger, Lathan Sims, and Paisley Hackworth; brother, Donald Sims; sister, Marion Eunice Bunner (Charles).
Pallbearers were Terry Sims, Lance Sims, Lennie Sims, Lincoln Hall, Austin Sims, Heath Hopfinger, Logan Hackworth, William Morrison, Wayne Rutledge and Case Sims. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Past and Present School Board Members.