TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Longtime East Texas broadcaster and KTBB news anchor John Sims died early Friday morning of injuries he sustained after a pedestrian crash in Tyler.
According to KTBB, Sims was struck by a car while walking near Front Street and Bonner Street, and suffered a severe brain trauma.
“We are heartbroken, plain and simple,” KTBB owner Paul Gleiser said. “John was as good as it gets as a radio newsman. But beyond that, he was a kind and gentle soul with a heart to make his community better.”
Sims was born for his job, according to Gleiser. “John had radio in his blood, which we in the radio business respect. He was born to be a radio broadcaster, his father was a highly respected, high-level play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies,” said Gleiser.
Sims was a news anchor and editor at KTBB in Tyler since 1998. His radio career spanned more than 45 years, most of them in East Texas.
“John was an institution onto himself, and the East Texas radio the voice of KTBB news for many, many years,” said Geoff Roark, a friend and colleague. “Engaged in the community I know in particular he was part of Tyler together race relations council and took great pride in being part of that. He certainly was involved in many, many different organizations.”
“The many people from all over East Texas and from across the social and political spectrum who have reached out to us following John’s accident serve as testament to a life well lived,” Gleiser said. “We will miss him more than I can say.”
Roark is grateful to have had the chance to call him a friend. “Not much escaped his notice, he was that way with friendships as well he was just a very personable guy, a lot of fun to be around, great sense of humor, a very dry sense of humor,” said Roark.
“We all considered him a great friend, and most of East Texas did as well,” said Roark.
Sims is survived by his nephew Tom Stokes, and KTBB said memorial arrangements are pending.
John Sims leaves behind a great legacy and many East Texans will miss hearing his voice on the radio. From everybody at KETK/FOX 51, we send our condolences to his friends, family and colleagues.