Cecil R. Sims, 88, peacefully passed away on November 22, 2021 at his home in Payson, Arizona. Cecil was born December 21, 1932 in Maxwell, New Mexico to Jewell and Marvin Sims, the seventh of eight children. He served in the USAF for 4 years, graduated from Colorado State University and served 30 years in the US Forest Service - the last 18 as the District Ranger in the Safford Office of the Coronado National Forest where many co-workers became life-long friends. Cecil held a deep love and respect for the land, but it paled in comparison to the love he had for his family. He married the love of his life, Dixie, in 1964, and the 57 years that followed were filled to overflow with loving, laughing and making treasured memories with his 4 children, his 24 grandchildren and great grandchildren, a multitude of nieces, nephews and “in-laws and out-laws”. Retiring on the edge of the Tonto National Forest provided a fly-fishing playground for Cecil and a favorite spot for family to gather.
The only thing above his love of family was his faith. A few years back, he penned his memoir aptly titled “God Sightings” - a term he used to identify times when God has impacted our life in some way. He starts his book with Proverbs 16:9 “ In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” He truly “lived” his beliefs and modeled what it looks like for others to see Christ through him.
He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings. He is survived by his wife, Dixie; his children Brett (Teresa), Pam (Rick), Shannon (Jim) and Matt; his 12 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest on December 6, 2021 at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of the following organizations that were near to Cecil’s heart:
Prison Fellowship - Angel Tree Christmas
P.O. Box 1011 Payson, AZ 85547