Obituary: Douglas Dean Sims |

Douglas Dean Sims
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April 29, 1946 – October 24, 2022

Born in Quincy, Illinois in 1946, and raised on his family’s grain and cattle farm, Douglas Dean Sims was the eldest of four children, born to Dean and Mary Jane Sims. As with many farm boys, the 4H program and Future Farmers of America both played an important role in his childhood. After graduating from high school in 1964, Doug attended the University of Illinois, where he studied agricultural economics. During summer vacation in 1966, he traveled to India, a trip that had a profound impact on him and shaped his future career. Another life-changing event happened that same summer: Doug proposed to his sweetheart, Nancy Mueller. The two married in August 1967 and graduated the following year. Doug served six months of active duty in the military after graduation and enlisted for seven years in the reserves.

Doug launched his long career in the agricultural credit system in 1969, when he accepted a position as a business analyst at the St. Louis Bank for Cooperatives. In 1973, he and Nancy welcomed the birth of their son Rob, and in 1977, their daughter Anne. Doug was a loving and dedicated father, never afraid to share his advice, while being equally enthusiastic about learning from the vast and varied life experiences of his children. In 1982, Doug was named president and CEO of the St. Louis Bank for Cooperatives. Four years later, he became president and chief operating officer of the three cooperative banks of St. Louis. Throughout the 1980s, Doug worked in Washington to save the farm credit system from collapse, and he is widely credited with playing a vital role in passing legislation to save that system. Another defining moment in Doug’s career came in 1988 when he played a key role in the creation of CoBank. When the bank began operations in 1989, Doug became their chief operating officer, where he was instrumental in establishing the new bank’s core values ​​and lending standards. In 1994, Doug was named CEO of CoBank. Over the next twelve years, Doug worked to continue serving rural America while strengthening CoBank’s position in rural banking, while placing a strong emphasis on the bank’s strong value system.

Since retiring in 2006, Doug and Nancy lived in Keystone, Colorado. Doug has dedicated himself to spending time with his wife Nancy, grandchildren, Grace, Elliot, Amelia, Ulysses, Felix and Malcolm, and exploring his lifelong love of travel and seeking out new experiences. He has served on the boards of a number of financial institutions and charities, focusing in particular on the Farmhouse Fraternity and Keystone Science School. He was a strong member of his community in the mountains, where he enjoyed welcoming visitors, pouring good wine and exploring new ideas in conversations that often lasted late into the night.

Doug is survived by his wife Nancy, his children Rob and Anne and his grandchildren. Doug left an indelible impression on everyone he spent time with. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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