Charles Coffin Sims
AGE: 80 • St. Petersburg, FL
Charles Coffin Sims, 80, of St. Petersburg, FL, passed away October 23, 2017 at The Marion and Bernard L. Samson Nursing Center. Born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, he attended high school in Elkhart and received his Bachelors of Science at the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University.
After Harvard, he taught briefly at MIT before moving to New Jersey where he spent most of his adult life, living first in Princeton and then in Allenhurst. He was a professor of mathematics at Rutgers University for 42 years and a pioneer in the field of computational group theory, influencing the careers of group theorists around the world who followed him.
In addition to his many contributions to research in his field of study, he was deeply devoted to mathematics education and spent much of his time at Rutgers ensuring quality instruction for generations of students. After retirement, Charles continued to help students learn mathematics by tutoring local children in St. Petersburg.
He was a devoted husband, brother, and father and active in church and church choirs throughout his life. In fact he met his wife Annette of 47 years singing in choir at Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church in Cambridge, MA. In his later years Charles and Annette made St. Petersburg their home.
Together they enjoyed their community, four dogs and cat, and spending time on Tampa Bay on their boat. Charles also collaborated with his sister Mary Jean on preserving family archives. He was a modest, kind, much-loved man who left lasting impressions on everyone he met or who benefited from his academic work. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Natalie Sims of Elkhart, IN.
He is survived by his wife Annette, sister Mary Jean Cannell and her family, his children Mark Sims and Amy Novack and their families. Charles' funeral will be held at 2pm on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at the Anderson McQueen Funeral Home located at 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King Street North, St. Petersburg, FL.
A committal service will be held immediately following the funeral. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Church of the Beatitudes, 2812 8th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. Visit the online guestbook at www.AndersonMcQueen.com