Ray Leonard (Roy) Sims
Obituary Date: Friday, August 10, 2012
Alexander Funeral Home of Cleveland announces the death of:
Ray Leonard (Roy) Sims died, after an extended battle with Alzheimer's, surrounded by his family on Friday, August 10, 2012 in Athens, GA. Born on April 15, 1931, Sims lived in his beloved hometown of Helen, Georgia for most of his life.
Mr. Sims joined the United States Army in 1947 when he was 15 years old and first served during the Nuremberg Trials in Germany before being stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany until his Honorable Discharge in 1953.Upon returning to Helen, Sims founded Ray L. Sims General Construction in 1958 and would go on to construct buildings and facilities at most State Parks and U. S. Forestry Campgrounds throughout Georgia that are still enjoyed by many.Mr, Sims was one of the original "five founding Fathers of the Alpine Helen movement" and helped grow the small lumber-mill town in the tourist attraction it is today. Sims not only helped develop the idea for the Bavarian townscape but handcrafted most of the decorative gingerbread styling, authentic storefront businesses, and cobblestone streetscapes that remain in place today. He served as a delegate of Helen on numerous promotional tours throughout the United States and Europe to encourage Helen's tourism during the early days. His devotion to transform Helen into a major tourist destination as well as a strong-knit community drove him to dedicate much of his adult life to public service. His love for his hometown and its citizens led his decision to serve as a City Councilman and Mayor of Helen for more than 22 years. Mr, Sims also was a proud member of the Mt. Yonah Masonic Lodge #382 located in Cleveland, GA.
Mr, Sims is preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Margaret Merle Hunter Sims. He is survived by son and daughter-in-law Mark Hunter and Beverly Sims of Helen and son and daughter-in-law Jonathan Ray and Kathryn Keith Sims of Athens, GA, and sister Geneva Sims Elwell of Helen. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Kaytlyn Merle Sims, of Helen, and Emerson Ray Sims, Parker MacKenzie Sims of Athens, Emily Mote and Michaela Mote of Cleveland , four sisters-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Sheila Caudell and the considerate staff at Homestead Hospice for the excellent care and compassion they showed Mr. Sims and his family during his illness.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00pm, Sunday, August 12, 2012 from the funeral home chapel with Rev. Michael Wilkes and Bob Fowler officiating.
Interment will follow in Chattahoochee United Methodist Church Cemetery with White County Color Guard providing military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Helen Arts and Heritage Center in memory of Ray L. SIms
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm Condolences may be sent to the family of
Mr. Sims by visiting www.alexander-funeral.com
Alexander Funeral Home of Cleveland (706)865-1500 in charge of arrangements
08/14/2012 at 12:00AM
Alexander Funeral Home