Raymond L. Sims, Sr. was born on June 2, 1931 to the late Annie Lee Walker Sims and Elmer O. Sims in New Haven, CT and departed this life on November 20, 2023.
Ray was educated in the New Haven Public School system and graduated from James Hillhouse High School in 1950. While in High School he was a member of the Varsity Soccer Team and Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track Team. He was a Red Cross representative as well as the Vice-President. While in high school he formed his love of art. He had drawn various artworks for his grand-children school projects.
Upon graduation he enlisted into the Connecticut National Guards and was called into service to participate in the Korean War under his unit 102nd Infantry Regiment from 1950-1952 and was honorably discharged as Sergeant E-4. While in the service he graduated from Army Leadership School. He was an active member of the Charles W. Wood Post 10321 in Hamden, CT and the American Legion Post 76 of North Haven, CT. He was also a member of the Connecticut 29th Colored Regiment C.V. Infantry, Inc.
After departing the war, he worked at Olin Mathieson Corporation (Winchester Repeating Arms) and while there trained to become an electrician under the GI bill. He remained a licensed electrician for over 40 years. He later worked for the City of New Haven Office of Rehabilitation Development where he was a Rehabilitation Specialist until his retirement in 1991.
He was the past president of the Newhall School PTA, past president Hamden PTA Council; co-chairman Newhall Community Association; former member Board of Directors Northern Hamden YMCA; Hamden Advisory Community Development Action Plan, Hamden Black Democratic Club, Hamden Democratic Town Committee; candidate for 3rd and 5th Districts Council; vice chair, Community Development Block Grant Programs; South Hamden Block Watch Association; Highwood Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Committee; Hamden Planning & Zoning Commission; Hamden Veterans Council; Justice of the Peace. He was a long-time member of Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church where he was baptized.
He received numerous awards and commendations, including: citation from the New Haven Board of Alderman for 25 years of service to improve housing in New Haven; certificate of appreciation from the South Central Regional Council of Government; certificate of appreciation from the American History Civil War Round Table of South Central Connecticut; appreciation award from the Charles W. Woods Post 10321 Hamden Veterans of Foreign Wars; Hamden Black Notable Award; Distinguished Service Awards from IYO/Unitas Club; certificates of volunteer citizens contributions to the Towns of Hamden and North Haven; special Congressional recognition for outstanding service to the Hamden Community, presented by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro; public service awards for exemplary service to preserve freedom during the Korean War, presented by Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.
Ray leaves to cherish his memory his son Raymond L. Sims, Jr. (Shirley) from a previous marriage; his wife, Ellecia R. Sims and their four children; Nancy Gail James, Greg Wesley Sims, Kimberly Rosanne Brooks (Carlice), and Derrick S. Sims, Sr. (Nancy). He is also survived by one sister, Gloria Bradley in Lynn, MA; grandchildren, Patrice Sims, Maurice Sims, Barry James, Naomi James, Alexandra Sims, Caitlyn Sims, Samantha Sims, Carlice Brooks, Christianna Brooks, Ellecia Sims, Brianna Sims, and Derrick S. Sims, Jr.; five great-grandchildren, Jordan Oliver, Londyn Oliver, Adrianna Janae Brooks, Calvin DaSilva James, Chloe Wilson and a host of relatives and friends.
He was predeceased by two brothers, Robert Sims and Elmer O. Sims, Jr.; and a son-in-law, Wayne Edward James.
A celebration of Mr. Sims’ life and legacy will be held Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 11:00am at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church, 425 Newhall St., Hamden. The viewing will be held at the church from 10:00-11:00am. The burial will be in Beaverdale Memorial Park.