In Memoriam: Jesse Sims, Sr.
On Dec. 17, 1995, Jesse Sims, Sr., a founding member of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, died at the age of 81. He was involved in many community and church activities in the Chattanooga area, but he was best known for his accomplishments as a gardener, for which he was recognized in Southern Living and on national television on the Home and Garden channel.
Jesse's interests in the world of gardening were varied, and he was an active participant in each area. He founded and served as president of the Tri-State Herb Society; he was president and senior accredited judge of the Tennessee Dahlia Society over a period of the past 20 years; he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Reflection Riding Botanical Gardens during the preparation of its master plan; he designed and established the herb garden at Hamilton County Nursing Home; and he maintained the herb garden at the Cravens House. In addition, Jesse donated the land for the original city park in Lookout Mountain, Ga., and designed, constructed and distributed leaf compost bins for that city 10 years before the state passed regulations for yard refuse.
At his home Jesse maintained his own Mountain Gardens, which served as a teaching garden and where visitors were always welcome. The Tennessee Valley Chapter held two of its meetings in these lovely surroundings.
Jesse Sims was a kind and gentle person, always ready to share his time, his talents, and his great knowledge of horticulture wherever needed. Although he was troubled by poor health in his latter years, he was always cheerful and always had a good word for everyone. He will be sorely missed by this chapter, and by the entire community.