CRAWFORD JOSEPH MIMS, 94, of Little Rock, Arkansas, passed from this life on Friday, April 1, 2016, in CHI St. Vincent Infirmary, Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born March 6, 1922, in the Damascus Community of Durant, Holmes County, Mississippi, to the late Dawson and Laura Moore Mims. He was married 53 years to the late Bettye Eloise Shackelford Mims, a former public school teacher in the Little Rock School District.
A memorial service in his honor will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016, 12:00 p.m. , at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, 1109 South State Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. The Rev. Ronnie Miller-Yow, Senior Pastor of Wesley Chapel will officiate. The family will receive friends in the sanctuary of Wesley Chapel from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on the day of the memorial service.
Dr. Mims was a professional educator for approximately 50 years. His aspiration was to improve the lives of African-Americans and the American society through education. He was a high school teacher and principal. On the higher education level, he taught at Rust College, his Alma Mater, Holly Springs, Mississippi; Shorter College, North Little Rock, Arkansas; and Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas. In college administration, Dr. Mims was Academic Vice President, Provost, and, for three times, the Interim President of Philander Smith College. He coached basketball for men and women on the high school level and at both Shorter College and Philander Smith College.
Dr. Mims was a veteran of World War II (WWII). He served his country with distinction in the United States Army between 1941 and 1945. During his years in the Army, he served three years overseas in England, France, Belgium and Germany. The U.S. Army recognized his contributions by awarding him several medals of honor and an honorable discharge.
Dr. Mims earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi; the Master of Science degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; and the Doctor of Education degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. He did advanced studies at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, and at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Dr. Mims received numerous honors and awards during his career in higher education. In 1995, the Board of Trustees of Philander Smith College named the newly constructed gymnasium in his honor: The Dr. Crawford J. Mims Gymnasium. In 1997, the Board bestowed upon him the title, Provost Emeritus and Professor of Education and Psychology. The Little Rock Rotary Club 99 honors him by providing annual scholarships at Philander Smith College.
Dr. Mims was a member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church; the Mu Beta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and for several years, he was a member of the United Methodist Historical Society, Inc., of Arkansas.
Dr. Mims is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Bettye Eloise Shackelford Mims; his parents, Dawson and Laura Moore Mims; four brothers, Lester D. Mims, Atwood Mims, Curtis Mims, and Charles Mims, and a sister, Helen Mims Cox. He is survived by his three children: Laura Ann Mims McCree (the late Rev. Dr. Samuel McCree, Jr.) , Bettye Yvonne Mims Chionuma, Esq., and Eva Lena Mims Williams, Esq. (Latham Williams, Esq.); five grandchildren: Samuel McCree, III (Nicole), Taj Kareem McCree, Esq. (Faries), Grace Yvette Ngozi Chionuma, Kari McCree Corbett (Chadwick), and Latham Brent Williams; nine great-grandchildren: Endyia McCree, Kallyiah Rush McCree, Samia McCree, Samuel McCree IV, Joseph Miles Chionuma Opulauoho, Caleb McCree, Emmanuel McCree, Colton McCree, and Chase McCree. He is survived by a sister, Georgia Mims Hoskin, and two brothers, Carl Mims and Robert B. Mims. M.D. He is also survived by Henry N. Chionuma, M.D., several nieces and nephews and a host of other family members and friends.
Interment, with military honors, will be held, after the memorial service, at Roselawn Memorial Park, 2801 Asher Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas. Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of the Ruffin and Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 South Chester Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202. (501) 372-1305. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dr. Crawford J. Mims Scholarship Fund, c/o Mr. Kevin Cooper, Director of Development, Philander Smith College, 900 Daisy Bates Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202.