Augusta Georgia native Leroy Sims wouldn’t remain a small town boy for long. As soon as possible he enlisted in the Army. After being wounded in Korea with a required year long stay in the VA hospital to recover fully, he went right back out there.
When his enlistment was up he joined the Air Force. He would remain a career soldier until his retirement. His desire to serve the public would never be complete in his eyes. He immediately joined the Augusta Police Department. Grover Tuten remembers this time well. They enlisted in the Police force together and became close friends.
Grover was an Assistant Coroner when he was needed. Leroy was asked to help out as well. They worked together for Coroner Woodward for several years. Leroy’s retirement from the police department as a successful homicide detective and the death of Coroner Woodward, gave Leroy the opportunity to become Coroner of Richmond county. It was 1985. He would run unopposed for the rest of his life. Grover continued to work along side his good friend for the Richmond County citizens.
Leroy Sims involvement in the Georgia Coroners Association began early in his career. He was always ready to assist the association in any way he was needed. He loved going to the annual meetings. He was especially fond of the Tybee Beach training sessions and meetings.
Leroy enjoyed his time as President of the GCA. He was most proud of his involvement in getting the pay rate increased for call services. It was important to him that Coroners and Deputies be fairly compensated. We are all in his debt.
Leroy rarely found his job in viewing and pronouncing deaths easy. He was affected by each one. He used his interests in coin collecting to reduce his stress from his work. Leroy was also a wonderful organist. It was common for Leroy to come in from a case and sit down to play. He had found a way to ease his mind in the way that we all need in this business.
The events that the Georgia Coroners Association offers each year to it’s members was one of Leroy’s favorite vacations. He loved them all, but Richard Stanley’s winter get together was by far the place he enjoyed the most.
Leroy was named Coroner of the year in 1995. His two terms as President of the association saw great progress and rewards under his command. The association now honors other Coroner’s or Deputy Coroner’s with an award named in memory of him. The Leroy Sims Distinguished Service Award is decided by the executive committee each year.
Leroy was a gentle giant, a man we all looked up to and admired. Rest well Leroy. Thank you for everything you did for the GCA.