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I know that in writing this short biograpy I could never do justice to Aaron's life here on this earth. For one thing, it will be entirely too short and I'm sure that there will be things I will accidently omit. I will put revisions to this biography at the bottom of page. Bear with me as I try to record how Aaron lived his life.
Aaron Craig Sims was born on April 6, 1970 at the Daviess County Hospital in Washington, Indiana. He was the second son to Charles and Linda (Shelton) Sims. He already had a big brother, Alan. Skipping forward in time a few years, Aaron started his education reading comic books as early as age 4. Aaron loved to read, and continued this love of reading throughout his life. When he started school it was at the Old Jefferson School which is currently the Daviess County Museum. The Jefferson School was closed early in Aaron's primary years and he and Alan moved their schooling to Griffith Elementary. After elementary Aaron attended Washington Junior and Senior High Schools. I met Aaron our seventh grade year during a football practice, playing footbal for the mighty Hatchets. Thanks to our similar hatred of the same Biz Detergent commercial that was on television that year, we formed an instant bond.
Aaron was involved in many different activities during his junior/senior high school years. As was mentioned, he played football in junior high. Also, invoking his school spirit, Aaron was involved with the cheering squad for the basketball games. Aaron and I (how did he talk me into this?) spelled out the word "HATCHETS" with our bodies to the cheering/amusement of the fans. He was also involved in the Junior Beta Club. Moving on to high school, Aaron was involved in many clubs; Beta Club, Drama Club, Art Club, National Honor Society, he was also the key figure in starting the Official Dungeons and Dragons Role-Playing Club. He was also the founder and president of the very exclusive, very prestigious, very un-official, Association of Real Men, more commonly known as the A.R.M. He was in several theatrical performances; to mention a few, he played Merlin in "A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", he was Tom Chalmers the dancing farmer in "Oklahoma", he played in "Our Town", and I'm sure there were others I can't remember at this time. Carrying on the school spirit, Aaron (and once again myself included) was the emergency medical unit for a PowderPuff football game and in the years after served as a cheerleader for the PowderPuff football games. He also was on the first CheerLifter sqaud at WHS. (At least it was the first in a long time) Aaron was also in the running for "Mr. Love" at the Beta Sweetheart dance, and was voted Class Clown and ?? our Senior year. Aaron also played saxaphone in the WHS band.
After high school, Aaron attended Vincennes University for two years and received his Associate in Fine Arts degree. This was the first year Aaron lived outside of Washington. I had the privelege of living with Aaron, along with one other of our friends, Dave Oberst. We lived together in an apartment in Vincennes and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun years I've had in my life. They say that you are not supposed to live with your best friend when you go off to college, but in this case that saying did not hold true. I believe I can speak for Dave in saying that in living together we grew closer. After two years at VU and completing his Associate degree, Aaron reached a significant turning point in his life.
Aaron joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sometime in his early teens. I have been a member most all of my life and I suppose I played a part in Aaron's decision to join the church. It was another aspect of life Aaron and I could share. We went to tons of youth activities together, dances, camping, picnics, and many other activities. As I said, after VU Aaron reached a turning point, he chose to serve a mission for our church. He filled out his paperwork and received his call to serve in the Brussels, Belgium Mission. The calling to serve is for two years. We had a farewell meeting in church the Sunday before he left. I remember I couldn't stay in the chapel, Aaron was the main speaker, and I was crying because he was leaving me for two years. But, I knew that this was one of the most important things Aaron could do on this earth and I was so very proud of him. So Aaron served the Lord for two years in different cities and villages in Belgium and France. I know that Aaron learned and grew so very much during this time. He aquired many valuable tools and traits that helped make him the man he turned out to be. One important thing he learned was how to set goals and achieve them. He told me time and again he learned that lesson on his mission and it really helped him in his life. His mission was primarily funded by his family, and I don't believe I have ever thanked them for this, so I want to right now. Thank you for letting Aaron make that decision to serve God and supporting him like you did.
After Aaron returned home from his mission in November of 1992 he decided to continue his education. He chose to pursue a degree in elementary education. He returned to V.U. at the start of the spring semester in 1993 to complete what he could close to home. He was living in Washington in an apartment with his brother, Alan. He ended up getting a Resident Assistant job in a dormitory there at V.U. So he moved his stuff to Vincennes which allowed him to make a little money while he studied for his classes. Much fun was had in that V.U. dormitory apartment. Alan and I would often spend the night with Aaron and it was during one of those times that the longest discussion in history about a single wrestling match was heard. Heard by me, spoken by the Sims brothers. Also, little did Aaron know, but another big turning point was about to face Aaron during his stay at Vincennes University. For it was in the spring of 1993 that Aaron met the love of his life and future wife, Beth Craig.
Aaron and Beth started dating in January of 1994. On their first date, like most other couples, Aaron and Beth were trying to get to know each other a little better. Beth had mentioned in passing a men's cologne she liked. The next date that Aaron and Beth went on, Beth noticed that Aaron was wearing that same cologne she had mentioned. I think he was hooked from the start. Linda has told me that after Aaron had met Beth, he had come home and Beth was all he could talk about. I think she also knew he was pretty well hooked. Aaron finished his semesters at Vincennes University and transferred to Indiana State University in the Fall of '94. He moved to Terre Haute and lived in an apartment still pursuing his Education degree. He continued to date Beth and in August of 1994 he asked her to marry him. How could she refuse such a handsome guy? They were married on December 17, 1994. Beth had finished her Associate degree in Recreation Therapy at Vincennes University, and moved to Terre Haute with Aaron. Aaron worked his butt off and managed to finish his degree in the summer of 1996. He sent out some applications and got an interview at Barr-Reeve Schools in Montgomery, Indiana. How could anyone refuse Aaron? He was the top man for the job, so he landed the teaching position at the Barr-Reeve Elementary School. Thus, in the fall of '96, began his teaching career.
Aaron and Beth moved to Washington, got an apartment, and Aaron started teaching 2nd graders. He was a natural. He loved his field and he applied himself to it one hundred ten percent. He was able to apply the traits he had gained throughout his life, goal-setting and organizational skills, and combine them with his natural talents, of creativity and imagination. I believe he taught 2nd grade for three years, then he moved to 4th grade and taught one year. He then moved to 5th grade and taught for two years. As you can see he progressed with his students and became close to all his kids. Aaron also carried over his school spirit from when he was a student and transferred it to his adult proffession. He participated in more than just teaching for the school. He coached the Elementary Spell Bowl team for three years and took them to state competition. For a short while he organized an Aftershcool Art Club for the primary age students. He also headed up the Technology Committee for the School Improvement Team. He committed himself to supporting the 5th and 6th grade basketball teams, especially the girls, and made his best effort to attend each one.
Aaron continued his own education and received his Masters degree in Education from Weslyan University in 1999. Also, as many teachers do, Aaron often found other jobs he could do during the summer. Since he retained his knowledge of the French language which he learned from his mission, Aaron taught French courses at Vincennes University. He also taught an art course at Oakland City University.
What did Aaron do for fun? One of the things Aaron was involved in was theater. He was in plays and musicals while in high school. Over the past 6 or 7 years has been involved with our Washington community theater, the Veale Creek Players. He has been in many performances and has had major roles in a lot of them. Some of his more recent roles included, Captain Jeffery Spaulding in Animal Crackers, ?? in The Haunting of Hill House, and Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. I hope that you, the reader, had a chance to catch Aaron in at least one of the plays he was in. He truly shined on stage.
Throughout Aaron's life there has been one consistant hobby Aaron has loved. And that hobby is role-playing games. For those of you who don't know, a role-playing game is basically an elaborate version of childhood game of cops & robbers, cowboys & indians, or superheros. The difference is that a role-playing game has rules to resolve the success or failure of an action. A role-playing game is usally played with a piece of paper representing your "character" and dice to determine results of action. There is also a "game-master" that guides the game to it's conclusion. At a very early age, I believe in his preteen years, Aaron was introduced to the game Dungeons & Dragons made by TSR. This was the game we started out playing, which many of you know is a fantasy style setting. We ventured out into other genres throughout our high school years such as superhero games, and science fiction style games. Aaron was primarily our game-master especially for the fantasy style games. As has been said he was the most creative of us all. We continued to play these role-playing games into our college years and even now in our adult life. We played games like GURPS Fantasy, Marvel Superheroes, Call of Cthulu, Deadlands, Brave New World, and 7th Sea. Aaron put a lot of time, work, imagination, and heart into his games. Hopefully I convey some of that on this site. Role-playing gave Aaron a way to release some of that creativity pent up inside of him. It also was a way for us to stay together as a group of friends and enjoy life together. A big part of that enjoyment is now gone. We will continue to game; I know Aaron would want us to. But there is a huge black void in our realm of imagination that will not be filled. It's very sad.
I must move on a bit. There were other "offshoots" of role-playing that Aaron enjoyed. For a while we played a game called Dragon Dice. It is a strategy game played with dice representing different types of armies. Aaron wrote his own alternate rules for it to turn it into a role-playing campaign style game. More recently Aaron got involved with a game called Warhammer. Warhammer is strategy game, played with miniature figures representing your army which you pit against another players army. Throughout the last year, Aaron had started playing Warhammer at conventions, like Origins in Ohio, and Egyptian Campaign in Illinois. He also played in games at gaming stores in Terre Haute and Evansville. Aaron always did well at these games usually winning an award or trophy of some sort. A big part of this game involves collecting, assembling, and painting your miniature army. Aaron just loved to do this. He spent hours and hours painting his figures; he did it for his own pleasure but was also able to win awards for his painting skills. He was quite proud of his miniatures. He even had a case of them, along with his painting supplies, with him in his car intending to take them on his trip to Houston. Sadly, they didn't make it.
Aaron was killed in a car wreck on July 10, 2002. He was 32 years old. I don't think I really want to write about the accident. You can read about it in the archives of the Washington Times Herald online, which I will link to below this paragraph. Aaron lived a good life. He accomplished so much and touched so many as was evident at his funeral and the comments on this website. He is truly and sorely missed by his wife, family, and many friends. Speaking for myself though, I very much look forward to seeing him again, and I hope that Aaron will be proud and pleased with how I will live my life and spend my time on this earth. Beth, Linda, Charlie, Alan, and all of Aaron's other family, I'm sorry for your loss, but I know that it is truly possible for you to be together forever as a family in the capacity that you desire. And I pray that if it is your desire, that you will be.