Nina Evans Sims was born in Marianna, Florida on January 13, 1943 and died on December 4, 2017. She was preceded in death by her father, Millard Fillmore Evans, who died when she was 4 years old, and her mother, Oveta Stephens Evans who died in 1995. She is survived by her three adoring children and their spouses: Myla and Todd Wahlquist, Jinger and Jim Deason, and Joshua and Sara Sims. She is also survived by her sister, Phyllis Sakamoto of Arizona. Nina’s grandchildren, Evan, Elyse, and Preston Wahlquist and Karley and Madison Deason were her dearest treasures and her greatest source of joy. She was a devoted mother and grandmother above all else in her life. Nina was a source of guidance, comfort, inspiration and assurance to her children and grandchildren and countless others that called her Aunt Nina, Mrs. Sims, and friend.
Nina was a striking beauty and had a gorgeous singing voice, performing in choirs and on stage, but education was her first priority from an early age. She followed her passion for science and education to earn a Bachelors from Florida State University in Science Education and later a Master’s degree started at Louisiana State University and completed at Troy State University in Secondary Science Education. Nina had a brief tenure working as a teacher in Holmes County High School, Bay County High School, and Golson Elementary School, but spent more than 30 years teaching various sciences in Marianna, Florida, first at Marianna Middle School and then at Marianna High School. She was awarded Jackson County Teacher of the Year in 1989. Nina later taught for 10 years in Leon County at Godby High School.
Outside her family, Nina was most treasured by her thousands of students for her life-changing gifts as a teacher of science. Nina had a way of making science relatable to students of all interest and achievement levels. She made it fun and engaging and even silly when needed to demonstrate the beauty of those truths that shape our physical world. Nina was able to reach the least engaged students and the most engaged simultaneously and inspire them to learn and marvel with her- a truly gifted teacher. Many students will remember the SSSS or the Super Simple Sims Specials - a small slip of paper with 5 questions that popped up frequently to check her student’s understanding of the material! Nina knew her students as individuals and took an interest in their lives, many crediting her for success in careers of medicine, engineering and research. She worked tirelessly before and after school mentoring students in science research and she accompanied them to local, state, and international science fair competitions. Nina was a champion of science and of her students. She taught so many family members and made those who were not actual family feel that they were. It is no wonder that entire graduating classes often referred to her as Aunt Nina.
The family prefers donations be made to Big Bend Hospice in place of flowers. Nina will be celebrated in a private ceremony with immediate family only. Please visit www.bevisfh.com to share your memories of Nina Sims to be included in a book in her honor.