Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
A fifth-generation Californian, Phillip M. Sims J.D. ’71 was born on Oct. 13, 1942, to Lois Sanchez and Martin Sims in Sacramento. Phil spent his childhood in Livermore, graduating from Livermore High. He then attended San Jose Community College, where he met his future wife, Sandy. He graduated from CSU Northridge with a degree in history. Phil’s plan to be a history professor changed one evening when he confided to a friend that he’d always wanted to be a lawyer. At SCU Law School Phil was law school student president and started a small law school newspaper—which he typed out at home. After graduating, he joined the San Francisco labor-law firm Davis, Cowell and Bowe. A year later he opened his own practice in San Jose, specializing in labor and nonprofit law. His successful practice continued for 40 years before he retired in December 2012. Phil loved being involved in the community and was trusted for his honesty and integrity. He was president of both the Santa Clara County Bar Association and Silicon Valley Rotary Club of San Jose. He served as chair on the boards of the YMCA of Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. He was one of the founding members of both the Santa Clara County Labor Law Section and The California State Bar Labor Law Section. A loving husband, father, and grandparent, at home he treasured gardening, walking, and yoga. He was happiest spending time with his family. Phil passed away on Dec. 16, 2018, at age 76 as a result of complications related to Alzheimer’s. He is survived and adored by his wife of 52 years, Sandy; his sons, Chris (Gina) and Andy (Amelia); his grandchildren, Sophie, Cecilia, Ellie, and Tommy; and his beloved brothers, Dennis, Barry, and David. Phil was generous with his humor, time, wisdom, and loving support for all those lucky enough to have him in their lives. He will be truly missed.