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Howard Nelson Sims

1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Howard Nelson Sims Obituary
Sims, Howard Nelson
Howard Nelson Sims, died on March 15, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio; a natural death while reading a book at home, an apt ending for a man who had a life-long passion for reading. It would no doubt amuse Howard that he died on the Ides of March. He was born on July 12, 1924, in Highland Park, Illinois, to Howard McCune and Goldie (Cease) Sims. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College and with a master of arts degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He went on to become a field editor for W.W. Norton, helping to create the Norton Anthology of English Literature. He is survived by his beloved daughter-in-law, Amy Peters Sims; and two beloved grandsons, Max and Chet Sims. Howard lived with the sadness of losing his only child, Peter, to cancer in 2016. It is a rare thing to live as long as Howdy (as his grandkids called him) did - very few last as long, but even fewer remain in their entirety. But Howdy's mind and soul were full till the end. He had an encyclopedic memory of many things, particularly poetry, and could recite the most beautiful and fitting verse on command. He also had a vast repertoire of dirty limericks; he knew of men from Nantucket all the way to Bel Air. And he had many friends to share them with. If he had the memory of a man half his age, then he had the social life of a man a quarter as old. He loved to go out to eat, and was something of a martini connoisseur - always in a stemmed glass, with an olive and twist of lemon. Martini nights with his partner Lois Carroll were a sacred tradition. And, the pair would often visit the 94th Aero Squadron, where Howdy could satiate his enthusiasm for prime rib while watching planes land and take off from the nearby airport. In his final years, Howdy found something entirely unexpected: a loving friend and companion who offered him warmth - peaceful days and a hand to hold. Meeting a woman as wonderful as Lois is a sure sign God was watching over him. Life was good, and Howdy knew how to enjoy it. Watching the birds outside his window, reading voraciously (from C.S. Lewis to Padre Pio), and nightly talks with Lois. But Howdy also did his duty in life. He was deeply faithful, not just in his belief and his presence in church, but in how deeply he thought of God and His creation. And he did his civic duty; he enlisted in the Second World War, just in time for the victory party in the Philippines! And, Howdy was an amazing grandfather and father-in-law. A grandfather who recommended great books, who told jokes, who introduced Chet and Max to Batman the Original Series. A grandfather who loved his grandchildren dearly, and helped make them more thoughtful and compassionate people. Howdy will be missed, but not forgotten. His will be remembered as an exemplary life; a life full of happiness and thoughtfulness. And of love. Howdy, farewell. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, March 27 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel at St. Therese Retreat Center, 5277 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43213. Interment and a celebration of Howard's life will be held this summer. Arrangements completed by EGAN-RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 403 East Broad Street. Visit www.egan-ryan.com to offer condolences.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 24, 2018
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