On Wednesday, March 24, 2021 the Barrow County community lost an icon, one of God’s brightest stars, Mary Louise Ford Sims passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Mary Louise Ford Sims was a woman of intelligence, integrity, courage, vitality, wisdom, vision, dedication, dependability and determination! She was 96 years old, born in Andersonville on November 12, 1924, proud daughter of the late Richard and Pearlie Ford. She and her late husband, the Reverend LaFar Dupree Sims moved to Winder in 1948 to serve as principal and Home Economics teacher of Glenwood Elementary and High School.

Mrs. Sims received her early education in the public school system of Sumter County. She graduated from A. S. Staley High School in Americus, as class salutatorian. She received a B.S. Degree in Home Economics from Fort Valley State College, Fort Valley. She did further studies at Atlanta University, University of Georgia and Athens Area Technical College.

Mrs. Sims served the Barrow County Community and surrounding areas well as a Home Economics teacher for Glenwood Elementary and High School, Winder-Barrow Middle School and Winder-Barrow High School for a total of 39 years. Following her retirement, she remained very active in the Barrow County and surrounding counties as a mentor for many. Mrs. Sims provided financial support to students in furthering their education. She organized five educational scholarships in which three of the scholarships are named respectively in the memory of her husband, Rev. LaFar Dupree Sims; her daughter, Maria D. Lay; and her son, Lanoir Sims. All fivr of the educational scholarships, which include two scholarships honoring Mary Ford Sims, remain active to date.

Mrs. Sims was a servant leader and role model for children and adults with her leadership, dedication and commitment to service. Just to name a few, she was very active in the following organizations: White Oak Spring Missionary Baptist Church; Greater Northwestern Baptist Association of Georgia Inc.; Barrow County Retired Educators Association; Georgia Teachers Educators Association; Glenwood Barrow County High School Alumni Association; Fort Valley State College Alumni Association; Barrow County Cancer Association; and Georgia Home Economics Association.

She was extremely proud to have the College and Career Academy in Barrow County named “Sims Academy” honoring her late husband Rev. Lafar Dupree Sims and the Sims family.

She is survived by her two grandchildren, Jerchiel Hill, Lilburn, and Charlton Lay, Munich, Germany; her two great-grandchildren, Doran and Fred Jr.; son-in-law and caregiver, Billy Lay; and God-daughter, Dorothy Johnson.

Family to receive visitation: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 from 3-7 p.m. at the Eberhart and Son Mortuary Chapel, 131 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Winder, Ga.

Celebration of life service: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11 a.m. in the Mary Ford Sims Fellowship Hall of the White Oak Spring Missionary Baptist Church at 123 East New Street, Winder, Ga

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Mrs. Mary Ford Sims to the “Mary Ford Sims Scholarship Fund” sent to WOSMBC, P.O. Box 511, Winder, Ga. 30680.

The family is especially grateful to her caregivers: Johnnie Ellington, Pauline Rogers Davis, Terry Bell Johnson, Evon Camp and Hattie Thrasher who provided comfort and care for the last four years.

Published by MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Week of March 28-April 3

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