Billy Sims, 88, of Fort Smith, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Sept. 24th, 2013 at his home. Bill was the devoted husband of 59 years to Patsy R. Sims, and the proud father and grandfather of 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Born on October 17, 1924 in China Springs, Texas, he grew up and attended schools in Waco, Texas. Bill enlisted into the army in March 1943, and was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, joining the 44th Infantry Division. In April 1944 he was transferred to the 86th Blackhawk Division in Camp Livingston, Louisiana. Prior to the Battle of the Bulge in late December 1944, the 86th Division was shipped to Europe, arriving in Le Havre, France in March 1945. The 86th Division joined Patton's Third Army for the drive through southern Germany and Bavaria into Austria, where Bill was located when the war ended on May 8th, 1945. Division 86 participated in three major battles-the Rhine, Ruhr and Bavarian, and Sims' service awards included the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star. Bill attended Baylor University, graduating in 1949 with a BBA degree. He began his career with Sears Roebuck as a Retail Store Manager trainee, and then joined Montgomery Ward as a merchandiser in their Fort Worth, Texas catalog house. He progressed with Montgomery Ward, transferring many times with his increasing responsibilities. He retired in 1982 as the Midwestern General Manager, Catalog Division in Kansas City. Bill is survived by his wife Patsy, daughter Karen and her husband Ken Jackson of Fort Smith, daughter Tamara and her husband Simon Osborn of Oxford, England, son Gregory Sims and his wife Janae of Overland Park, Kansas, five grandchildren Christopher Jackson, Elizabeth and Evan Sims, Matthew and Alexandra Osborn, a sister Ethel Royer of Lillington, North Carolina, two brothers Charles Ray Sims of Santa Maria, California and Bobby Sims of Hubbard, Texas along with many other loving extended family members and friends. Visitation will be held at 11:30 followed by the service at 1:00 Monday, September 30th, 2013 at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel in Fort Smith. Burial will be at 2:00 in the Fort Smith National Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans (DAV.org
) or Peachtree Hospice Fort Smith. The family wishes to thank the Peachtree Hospice staff members and volunteers that provided their husband, father and grandfather with such wonderful care during his final months. Online condolences may be sent to www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.