Robert John Sims, 94, longtime resident of Wayne died peacefully on October 21st, 2020 surrounded by his large loving family. He was the adoring husband of the late Gloria MacCarter Sims, who passed away in 2005. He cherished her memory every day.
He is survived by his seven children Barbara Hogan (Jack), Lisa Bryne (Jeff), Dana Hospodar (Ed), Ernie Sims (Linda), Carter Sims, Peter Sims (Kristin), Moira Hobson (Tom), his sister Dolores "Lorie" Carroll, twenty grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Bob was predeceased by his parents, Stanley and Marie, his brother Stanley, sister Florence and his beloved granddaughter Lily Byrne. Bob welcomed everyone with a big smile and an infectious response “fantastic” when asked how he was doing.
He was born in Philadelphia to a Lithuanian immigrant father and loving Mother who instilled in him from an early age the importance of Faith in his life, the blessing of family and the essential principle to work hard. He was a graduate of Northeast High and then went onto serve in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, Bob graduated from Temple University and started his career in the insurance industry.
Mr. Sims lived a long and productive life providing for his family and steadfastly serving his Church and civic community well into his 90’s. Bob was a loyal and faithful Catholic his entire life. He served the church locally and internationally for decades. In addition to being an active parishioner of St Katharine of Siena in Wayne, he was a longtime member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Legatus, Men of Malvern, Catholic Leadership Institute, Catholic Philopatrian Institute, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, and the Stewards of St John Neumann. He faithfully served Archdiocese of Philadelphia for decades as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committees. He worked closely in guiding Cardinals Krol, Bevilacqua and Rigali in the important decisions in the life of the Archdiocese. For all of his commitment and generosity to the Archdiocese, he was twice honored by Saint John Paul II as Knight of Saint Gregory and later as a Knight Commander of Saint Gregory. Knight Commander of St. Gregory is highest honor given to a layman by the Holy Father. He was a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher where he served as an advisor to his lifelong friend Cardinal John Patrick Foley who served as Grand Master of the Order in Rome.
Mr. Sims was well known and respected in the tri-state area as a trusted financial planner. Mr. Sims quickly became a top salesperson for Provident Mutual and then a corporate executive with Mutual of New York. Bob saw a bigger need for true financial planning so he established Fin-Plan investments in 1960 and was one of the early pioneers in the industry. He was the founding President of the Delaware Valley Chapter of Financial Planners and lectured nationally on the subject. His professional designations included CFP ® (Certified Financial Planner), MSFS (Masters in Financial Services), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), and ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant).
Mr. Sims loyally served his community serving terms on the boards for Immaculata University, Gwynned Mercy University, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Notre Dame de Namur, Malvern Preparatory School, Legatus International, Big Brothers of Philadelphia, US Jaycees, US Naval Reserve, and was a trustee for the United Way. Over the years, he received various awards for his faithful service including the Keys and Sword Award from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and the Outstanding Catholic Leader from the Catholic Leadership Institute.
In between working, volunteering, and raising a large family with Gloria, Mr. Sims loved to travel with family and friends. He traveled far and wide over the years and made new friends on every journey. He especially loved his travels to Rome that spanned more than fifty years. Bob had the high honor of greeting Pope Saint John XXIII, Pope Saint Paul VI, Pope Saint John Paul II on many occasions, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. In honor of his 90th Birthday, the family gathered in Rome for what would be his final trip abroad. During this week, he was able to greet Pope Francis personally twice in the same week. The Holy Father on both occasions wished him a blessed Birthday and remarked that he did not look 90!
Bob enjoyed his membership and time with family and friends at Overbrook Golf Club, Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, The Philadelphia Union League and the Philadelphia Country Club. He treasured his time in the beauty of the Skytop Club in the Poconos where family and friends would gather in his home and enjoy time together. He loved to gather people together and spend quality time with all of them.
Mr. Sims often said that the most important things in life are Faith, Family, and Friends. This can be measured through the time and effort he devoted to each of these essential elements of life and the happiness of his children and grandchildren in learning these values.
Lou Baldwin, a journalist for the former Catholic Standard and Times and now for Catholic Philly wrote a wonderful summary line of Mr. Sims when the Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute honored him with the Sourin Award for his remarkable contributions to his family, the Church and the community: “Bob Sims, a friend to all, great and common.”
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Katharine of Siena Church in Wayne. The Mass and Interment will be private. The Mass will be live streamed through St. Katharine's website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIc4OFU0aPr51trE_OMyh2g/featured. A celebration of Bob’s long and faithful life will be celebrated in the future where friends may gather in larger numbers.
Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Robert J. Sims Fund for Catholic Education, 71 Farrier Lane, Newtown Square, PA 19073.
Robert J. Sims Fund for Catholic Education
71 Farrier Lane, Newtown Square PA 19073