Obituary: Douglas Dean Sims
April 29, 1946 – October 24, 2022
Born in Quincy, Illinois in 1946, and raised on his family’s grain and livestock farm, Douglas Dean Sims was the oldest of four children, born to Dean and Mary Jane Sims. As with many farm boys, the 4H program and Future Farmers of America both played an important role in his childhood. After graduating high-school in 1964 Doug attended the University of Illinois, where he studied Agricultural Economics. During summer break in 1966 he travelled to India, a trip that had a profound impact on him and shaped his future career. Another life changing event occurred that same summer—Doug proposed to his sweetheart, Nancy Mueller. The two were married in August, 1967, and graduated the following year. Doug served six months of active duty in the army following graduation, and signed on for seven years in the reserves.
Doug launched his long career in the Farm Credit System in 1969, when he accepted a position as a business analyst at the St. Louis Bank for Cooperatives. In 1973 he and Nancy welcomed the birth of their son Rob, and in 1977, of their daughter Anne. Doug was a loving and devoted father, never afraid to share his advice, while equally excited to learn from his children’s vast and varied life experiences. In 1982 Doug was named President and CEO of the St. Louis Bank for Cooperatives. Four years later, he became President and COO of all three St. Louis Cooperative Banks. Throughout the 1980s, Doug worked in Washington to save the Farm Credit System from Collapse, and he is widely recognized as playing a vital role in passing legislation to save this system. Another defining moment in Doug’s career came in 1988 when he played a key role in the creation of CoBank. When the bank began operations in 1989, Doug became their COO, where he was instrumental in establishing the core values and credit standards of the new bank. In 1994 Doug was named CoBank’s CEO. Over the following twelve years Doug worked to continue to serve rural America while strengthening CoBank’s position in the rural banking sector, all while placing a strong focus on the bank’s strong system of values.
Since retiring in 2006, Doug and Nancy lived in Keystone, Colorado. Doug devoted himself to spending time with his wife Nancy, his grandkids, Grace, Elliot, Amelia, Ulysses, Felix, and Malcolm, and exploring his continuing love of travel and searching out new experiences. He served on the boards of a number of financial institutions and charities, focusing in particular on the Farmhouse Fraternity and the Keystone Science School. He was a strong member of his community in the mountains, where he loved to host visitors, pour great wine, and explore new ideas during conversations that often lasted long into the night.
Doug is survived by his wife Nancy, his children Rob and Anne, and his grandchildren. Doug left an indelible impression on whomever he spent time with. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
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