Spotlight on Lewis Sims and his retirement celebration at American Legion Post 148

| June 29, 2016

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

Check this out: Next month will be the fifth year anniversary of shining the spotlight on you and the wonderful things that you do, in my column within Frost Illustrated.  Time goes by so fast but I’ve enjoyed every moment of bringing you some joy, beauty, happiness and some form of peace of mind as we travel on our journey of love to get to know one another better.  On that note, it pleases me to introduce to you a well respected man and member of American Legion Post 148 who is very much loved  and appreciated because of the beauty that he brings to so many veterans, friends, family and just about everyone else that he encounters.  On Saturday, June 18, the American Legion celebrated him and his 13 years of being chaplain and he is now retired from this position. So at this time all we’d like for you to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy.  Or stand and jump and shout if you want to!  You can do that because Frost Illustrated is going to take you there:       

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Lewis C. Sims and I was born and raised in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  We moved to Fort Wayne in 1944 and I graduated from Central High School class of 1947.  I’ve been the chaplain at American Legion Post 148 for 13 years and as chaplain, I’d visit sick veterans and when people passed away I’d announce that information, as well as, funerals. People go through a lot of situations here and when things happen to people I try to console them and keep the peace.  Even though I’m retired because I felt it was time for me step down and let somebody else be the chaplain,  I told them, I’m still going to stick around to do the drawings and whatever else they want me to do.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Freddy Bolton and I moved here in 1955 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and I met Mr. Sims in 1956 because he was a close friend of my sister at that time and both our parents were friend and they served on the trustee board at Union Baptist Church.  He and I were casual friends and we’d meet and talk and sometimes when things were going wrong in the community, I would often see him there because he was very active in the community.  Then he became the first black bus drivers in the city of Fort Wayne and I was very proud of him, but Lewis is always the type of person that I got a lot of pleasure from being around him.

“Lewis has done a fantastic job as chaplain of American Legion Post 148.  He was faithful because he’s a faithful person and an all around good guy that’s a well, rounded individual.  It’s hard to find individuals like Lewis and if Lewis is your friend, you have a friend forever.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  I’m Sheryl Edwards, finance officer here at Post 148 and Mr. Sims is a  phenomenal guy.  He’s always there to support the sick and shut in and he’s there for anyone that needs him he was a great chaplain.  I’ve known him for over 20 years and it’s a joy to see him because he always has a nice smile for everyone and he’s always friendly, he’s a great guy.”

American Legion Post 148 Commander Anthony Payne (left) and Steve Lanier (right) stand with retiring post Chaplain Lewis Sims.

American Legion Post 148 Commander Anthony Payne (left) and Steve Lanier (right) stand with retiring post Chaplain Lewis Sims.

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Jerry Burch, I’m a member of the executive board here and I was born and raised right here in Fort Wayne.  I’ve known Lewis all my life and I used to ride on the bus with him when he was a bus driver.  Lewis is very honorable and I’ve never really known a person that was as honorable as him.  He’s the kind of guy that, while I was growing up as a young man, I wanted to be like him because I admired him and still do.

“He’s been a pillar to the Legion for years and people respect him.  He’s a gentleman and the best chaplain we’ve ever had and I’ve been an officer here for about 12 to 13 years and he’s been the chaplain ever since I’ve been here.  So, I hope the individual that will occupy his position, will follow in Lewis’ footsteps because that would be wonderful.  He’s the kind of guy that was always out there visiting the sick, the hospitals, nursing homes, always ready for a prayer, a funeral and whatever else he could do.  It will be hard to fill his shoes because he’s been great in everything as a man, a chaplain, husband, father and friend.  I want to be just like him because people respect him and that’s what I want people to do for me and I think they do.”

“Hello Frost Illustrated readers.  I’m Commander Anthony Payne and Mr. Sims has been a blessing.  He goes around to see the sick and shut in and he does the things that a lot of us, don’t have time to do.  We have members who are bed written and they’re all Veterans from WWII and Korea and some older Veterans that have belonged to this post for years and, he makes sure they’re represented and he talks with them and let them know what’s going on here at the post and he makes sure they get their absentee ballots to vote so they’re not left out.  He also makes sure that we stay grounded in Christianity. He says the prayers before the meetings and after the meetings.  Mr. Sims is the cornerstone of this place. He’s been around for a long time, a lot of the younger members look up to him for guidance and his leadership and he knows a lot about Post 148 history because he’s been here so long and so, he’s a valued asset.”                        

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  I’m Steve Lanier and Mr. Sims exemplifies the true emphasis of a Legionnaire and not only has he done a great job for the Legion, as far as, promoting peace and good will, he always tries to safe-guard prosperity and the principles of justice.  He was that go-to person whenever something was wrong or had tension, he always tried to bring peace to any situation that existed and if anybody walked into the post that had a problem or concern, Mr. Sims was always willing to get to the bottom of it or to point people in the right direction because he’s a caring man.  Even though he no longer holds the position of chaplain, he’ll still be here because it’s not just a job or title for him, it’s a way of life and that’s just how he lives.”

Now in closing I say, Mr. Sims I know you’re feeling the love and the beauty for you because I’m definitely feeling it too.  What a great man you are.  So until next week you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye bye, babies.

P.s.  If you’d like the spotlight shined upon you or someone you know, all in the name of love, send me an email to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo.com.  I’d love to hear from you.

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Category: Community, Features, People

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