John Taylor Sims, Jr., Ph.D., passed away the morning of his 78th birthday on May 30, 2017, at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Taylor was a visionary leader, an academic, a talented musician, loving husband, father and grandfather.
A native of Texas, Taylor moved to Norfolk in 1994 when he was appointed Dean of the College of Business at Old Dominion University. Leading the college for six years, Taylor helped it grow, overhauled its curriculum and oversaw the design and funding of a state-of-the-art building. In 2000, Taylor returned to the ODU faculty as a Professor of Marketing, where he taught until his retirement.
Taylor had a long and successful career in academics and business. Prior to ODU, he served as the Provost and Acting President of Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio; the Dean of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.; the Dean of the College of Business at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.; Associate Dean of the College of Business at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; and a member of the marketing faculties of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Tex., and the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Before dedicating his life to academics, Taylor was a vice president at the Marketing Research Corporation of America in Chicago.
Taylor earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his undergraduate and master's degrees from Texas Tech University. He also served his country as a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Taylor was a gifted pianist and baritone vocalist who performed with numerous choirs throughout his life. He was a patron of the arts, supporting the Virginia Opera, Virginia Symphony Orchestra and other classical music organizations around the country.
Taylor's greatest pride, though, was taken in his four sons and three grandchildren. He was always eager to speak of their life's goals and accomplishments.
Taylor's death was preceded by his parents, John Taylor Sims, Sr., and Dixibel Turns Sims, of Lubbock, Tex. Taylor is survived by his wife, Janice O'Neil Sims, of Chesapeake; sons, John T. Sims III, of Houston, Michael J. Sims, of Dallas, Christopher A. Sims, of Austin, Tex., and Blane E. Sims, of Chicago; and grandchildren, Alex Sims McDonald, of Waco, Tex., Elliot Sims, of Houston, and Jonathan Sims, of Dallas.