Orval Thomas “Tom” Sims, Jr., 95, of Carthage, passed away on Friday, June 11, 2021, at the Heritage House in Carthage, Illinois.
Tom was born on June 9, 1926, in Manhattan, Kansas, the son of Orval Thomas and Viola Rose (Nye) Sims. Tom’s family left Manhattan when he was young to move to Wamego, Kansas. Tom remained in Wamego until leaving home to join the military. After serving his country, Tom met Dorothy Mahe; whom he married on May 10, 1946. Their family included one son, Terry Lee Sims. Dorothy preceded him in death on December 18, 2000.
During his working career, Tom held several jobs, including running a gas station, a hobby shop, truck driving, and operating as a private pilot. Children who grew up in Carthage during the 1960’s will remember playing with the enormous slot car track he had in the basement of his hobby shop. When he wasn’t working, he had several hobbies to occupy his time. Tom loved anything with an engine, especially airplanes. In addition to multiple model airplanes that he built and flew for years, Tom also built and flew his own experimental aircraft as well as his private planes. In his later years, much of his time was focused on his numerous motorcycles and cars.
Tom served his country in the United States Navy during World War II, serving aboard the USS Colhoun. His ship was hit by four Kamikaze planes and sunk on April 6, 1945 at the Invasion of Okinawa. Although many lives were lost that day, Tom was fortunate to survive. Tom was honorably discharged from the Navy on April 18, 1946, receiving three gold stars for his service in the Pacific.
Tom is survived by his sister Darlene (Mike) Glazer of McPherson, KS, along with grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dorothy and his son Terry Lee.
Services will be held at a later date.