Herbert London Sims, Jr. was born May 16, 1936 in the two bedroom family home at 836 S. Washington St., San Bernardino, California to Herbert London Sims, Sr. and Essie Lee Sims. This home was in the southern part of San Bernardino affectionately known as "The Valley." He proudly spent his entire life in "The Valley" and was dedicated to its preservation. Herb, who was referred to as "Junior," by his parents and siblings, was the middle child of five. He had an older sister and brother, Anna Ruth and Carl, and a younger set of siblings, Isaac and Barbara. They grew up growing food and doing chores like feeding the animals before they went to school. Herb learned the value of hard work which he would carry with him throughout his life.
"Junior" attended Mill Elementary School, Sturges Junior High School, San Bernardino High School and was in the first graduating class of Pacific High School in 1954. He excelled in sports playing on the football team and running track. He would later be inducted into San Bernardino’s Black Athletes Hall of Fame. After graduating he was hired by DeLaVerne Plumbing where he worked for the next 16 years.
At 22, he met and married Sally Marie Spigner. They had three children, Deborah, Mark and Rhonda. While living on Waterman Avenue in "The Valley," his family attended Allen Chapel AME Church every Sunday. Being a sports enthusiast, Herb also coached his son Mark and his teammates while Sally was the team mother. Deborah and Rhonda were cheerleaders. Coach Sims positively influenced many young men during this time.
In 1971, Herbert became a Plumbing Foreman for the City of San Bernardino. He worked in this capacity with the city until his retirement. In retirement, he enjoyed gardening, reading the Bible and doing occasional plumbing jobs in San Bernardino and Orange counties. He also wanted to write a book about "The Valley" and have it published in book and newspaper forms . Both of those wishes came true for him as he helped put together a book called "Valley Truck Farms" by Alice Eby Hall and his picture appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
Herbert Sims passed away on November 30, 2023 and is survived by his sister, Barbara; five children, Deborah, Mark, Rhonda, Jason (Dylisia) and Sarah; five grandchildren, Derek, Isaac, Jahdyn, Zaniah and Jordan; and one great granddaughter, Milani.
A graveside service for Herbert will be held Wednesday, December 20, 2023 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Green Acres Memorial Park & Mortuary, 11715 Cedar Ave, Bloomington, CA 92316.