Leland Sims Obituary

Credit: Savannah Morning News January 5, 2010

Leland Wallace Sims - SAVANNAH - Leland Wallace Sims went home to be with the Lord Sunday, January 3, 2010, at the age of 89. He is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Joyce Sims. He is survived by his wife of 5 years, Jean Sims, daughters Brenda and husband Jim McDonald, Ginny and husband Raymond Flint. Sister Evelyn Higgins, niece Fran Higgins and nephew Steven Higgins. Grandchildren Nora Valdez and David Sims.

Great-grandchildren Niko, Nathan, Aron and Noah Valdez. And many, many friends.

Leland was born in Smackover, Arkansas July 21, 1920. On September 9, 1939, Leland enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was assigned to the 27th Bomb Group. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He then spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war in Japan. He continued to serve his country in the military until 1960. He retired from civil service in 1980. He had been awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. At first, Leland did not speak much about his experiences while he was a prisoner of war. He joined the National and San Antonio Chapters of the American Ex-Prisoners of War. The 27th Bomb Group had yearly reunions. It was through these organizations that he was able to share his experiences with others. It was later that he began writing about his years as a prisoner of war. His book was completed and published in November of 2009. He held no ill-will toward the Japanese.

Leland lived a long and fulfilling life. He married Joyce Henry in 1947.

Together they had two daughters, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They finally settled in San Antonio, Texas after his retirement from the Army in 1960. In 2004, Leland called Jean Southwell in Savannah. Leland had met Jean while he was stationed in Savannah in 1940 when she was 14 years old. Her family often fed and visited with the soldiers. Leland and Jean married October 28, 2004.

They spent five loving years together laughing and holding hands.

The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o'clock Tuesday at Gamble Funeral Service, 410 Stephenson Avenue. The funeral service, with full military honors, will be held at 11 o'clock Wednesday morning in the chapel of Gamble Funeral Service conducted by The Reverend R. Calvin Fowler III and The Reverend William E. Gardner. Interment, with full military honors, will be in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. Remembrances: Bull Street Baptist Church - 17 East Anderson Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401. The family thanks the doctors and ICU nurses at Candler Hospital for the excellent care, love and support during Leland's illness. And a special thanks to Sandy Enfinger for her love and continued support during this time of need. Please share your thoughts about Mr. Sims and his life at www.gamblefuneralservice.com. Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries.

        

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