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1953 Thomas 2023

Thomas Craig Sims

October 20, 1953 — January 22, 2023

Thomas Craig Sims was born in the town of Battle Creek, Michigan, to Fred L. and Shirley A. Sims (Pattison) on October 20, 1953. Tom passed away at his home in Climax, Michigan on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, at the age of 69. He had suffered a fatal heart attack while in the care of Paramedics who arrived on the scene just minutes before the incident. Tom is survived by his Sisters, Judith A. Erickson of Climax, MI. and Karen E. Posick of Puyallup, WA., two daughters, Niki Sims Goodale and Dana Sims, as well as six grandchildren, Brialy, Breanna & Brooke and Cuyler, Carter & Kyndal.

In his youth, Tom enjoyed spending time with and working alongside his Father, Fred. Tom was a member of the Boy Scouts for a brief period and later joined Jr. Achievement and the Battle Creek area Jaycees where his father frequently volunteered. They were often seen working on various projects together and always truly enjoyed the whole experience.

Tom was a graduate of Lakeview H. S. in 1972. Of all his classes, he liked band the most. He learned to play the trumpet through classes at school, starting in the 9th grade and he eventually got pretty darn good at it. Tom also taught himself how to play the drums on the week-ends and was always quick to pick up the beat of any new song. He was a natural, especially with the drums. His love of music always seemed to inspire him, soon he and a few good friends with similar interests decided to form their own rock 'n roll band. And, it was always a great time when practice was at our house! In the summer, the group would often practice at our home, outside in the garage. It always drew a neighborhood crowd and everybody would enjoy the free show.

During his junior and senior years at Lakeview, in the cool and sometimes frosty evenings of fall and early winter, you could often hear Tom over the loud speakers on the field announcing the score, stats, etc. for many of Lakeview's home football games, home coming, and other similar events. Once he became interested in this, and along with his love of music, I figured that someday Tom would probably become an infamous 'disco dejay,' spinning records for a living out in L.A. somewhere – or at least become a radio announcer at some popular local music station like his Uncle Grover did back in Missouri. Or perhaps even do like his long time buddy, Jeff did, during his time in Chicago. But to my knowledge that thought never even crossed his mind, so I was way off on my prediction. Lol, I think I quit trying to figure my brother out at this point.

Toms other hobbies included model making and tinkering endlessly with electronics. He and his friends always seemed to be in a competition about who had the best stereo sound systems, with lots of bass of course. But each time one of them would get a new component, then the competition would have to start all over again. Funny, but while this game went on, they all had their systems upgraded in top notch fashion in a record amount of time. And while stuck at home because of my age and duties, I certainly enjoyed it when Tom was gone for any length of time ; )

It was during his senior year that he first became employed. He was hired to work at his favorite store on the mall, where he would regularly hang-out anyway, Radio Shack, part-time. Tom was very happy with the way things were going and I believe he and Robin were also dating at this point. The best part about this new schedule, in my opinion, was when he put the key into the ignition of his baby blue, fast back, Ford Mustang, revved up that engine and drove that baby back and forth between school, work and home. That car was his trophy and turned out to be his favorite vehicle of all time (mine too!)

Soon after graduation, Tom acquired a new full time job position at the Clark Equipment Company, where he worked for nearly a decade. He was then able to retire with some benefits, at a fairly young age, and he was able to do this before the company completely closed up shop and left the USA. While working at Clark's, Tom also attended KCC in the evenings, studying business and courses pertaining to his interest in electronics. And it wasn't long after his graduation from Highschool and landing a somewhat stable, good paying job, that he also became a married man, marrying his high school sweetheart, Robin Cuyler, August 20, 1974. They had two beautiful children together but their marriage, sadly, ended in divorce. Tom remained tormented for the rest of his life, by what I believe, were his own personal failures involving the break-up of this relationship and had always wished for a 'do-over'. Many of us can probably relate.

A little more than a decade later, while visiting the family at their vacation home in Colon, Michigan, Tom met Butch Fales sister, Kay. They ended up falling in love and Thomas got re-married in 1984. Tom often referred to Kay as the "love of his life". Although they later split, Tom & Kay always remained good friends. Kay's daughter, Genie, from a previous relationship was a great kid as well. Both she and her Mom became very close to our family. And boy, Kay was funny! She could crack you up even on your darkest days. For the most part, she was a joy to be around and we all understood why Tom was drawn to her.

In his later years and with the Battle Creek Balloon show becoming a yearly event, Tom soon became an avid admirer. He started volunteering the second year, working as many days and hours as they would let him and continued with the same kind of schedule and enthusiasm each and every year thereafter. Whenever he managed to score a couple extra tickets, he would hand them out to various family members and then try to persuade the rest of us that we just had to go anyway, with or without a free ticket! He would almost know the whole shows itinerary by heart. He'd let you know when the jets were flying, the motorcycles would be there, or when the balloon illum was taking place, so you could figure it all out according to what events you liked best. We all usually attended the show, although often at different times and dates. I mean, nobody needed to twist anyone's arm to go, it was always a fun event. He would even remember what days everyone had picked out and that day would most often start off with a phone call from Tom, reminding you of your balloon show commitment. He wanted to make sure you remembered and around what time you'd be arriving. This way he knew whether to look for you or not. He usually always caught up with everyone by the end of the day. And If you saw him coming before he noticed, you could see that he would be grinning ear to ear, riding proud in his little golf cart, lol. He would stop, say hello, talk a bit about the show, offer up a ride, maybe get you a snack, beverage or a sweet… something and then be on his way, always eager to find out what his boss may have in mind for his next assignment.

With that, I just wanna say - We love you and we'll miss you Tom.

I hope you're flying high now, brother,

I hope you reach the stars!

Friends will be received 12:45 – 1:00 p.m. Thursday, February 2, 2023 in the Chapel at Memorial Park Cemetery, where funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, February 2, 2023. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. The service was recorded & may be viewed at Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here in the Memory Book at

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