Radio colleagues describe injured newsman John Sims as ‘kind and gentle soul’
Sims suffered severe brain injury in auto-pedestrian crash
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - UPDATE: John Sims died of his injuries a little after 3:30 a.m. Friday, according to KTBB owner Paul Gleiser.
Sims suffered a severe brain injury as a result of an auto-pedestrian crash that happened Tuesday around 8:30 a.m. on Front St. at Bonner Ave.
“John Sims is one of the kindest, gentlest souls I’ve ever known,” said Paul Gleiser, KTBB owner. “And he’s also a consummate professional.”
A large part of Sims radio career has been spent behind the microphone at KTBB working for Gleiser, who described Sims as the perfect newsman.
“I have no idea how he votes. He’s that good,” Gleiser said.
With Sims absent from the KTBB newsroom, staff members could be seen meeting Thursday morning to determine how they will continue to bring East Texans the news without their longtime anchor and show host.
“His condition is unchanged from this past Tuesday when he was admitted,” Gleiser said Thursday morning. “He’s in grave condition. He suffered very, very serious injury.”
Those who know Sims said a walk to the Wendy’s restaurant near Front and Bonner is part of his morning routine. Gleiser said it’s what Sims was likely was doing Tuesday morning.
“This one terrible morning it turned out so badly,” Gleiser said.
Former KTBB morning show host Mike McMeans, better known on the radio as Mike Edwards, worked with Sims for about two decades.
“I’m still dumbstruck at how it all happened,” McMeans said. “Still finding it hard to believe.
McMeans recalled Sims’ work with countless community organizations, often taking on leadership roles.
“I told my wife that I called him the Will Rogers of Tyler because he never met a man he didn’t like,” McMeans said.
“Well, I’ll tell you what there’s a lot of people out there that are involved in community groups, but not to be a cynic. But a lot of them are resume builders are just wanting to be involved so they can get credit for being involved. John genuinely cares,” Gleiser added.
Gleiser and McMeans offered the following thoughts when asked what they would say to Sims.
“John, we love you. We need you back in the newsroom. We miss you terribly,” Gleiser said.
“I just would tell him that either way, God’s going to heal him either our way or his way. And either way he’s going to come out okay,” McMeans said.
The only blood-related family KTBB staffers knew of was a nephew who lives in the northeast. Of course, his radio colleagues consider themselves to also be Sims’ family.
Sims has worked in radio for over 45 years, with at least 43 of those years spent in East Texas, according to his KTBB biography.
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