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Dorothy Gowin Sims

Dorothy Gowin Sims


DOROTHY ROSELLA RANDS was born on June 9, 1920 in Darlington, Maryland, the daughter of John and Una (Clingan) Rands. She married her first husband, Richard Drury Gowin (1913 – 1986), on January 3, 1944. They settled in Alaska, first operating a poultry farm in Palmer, and then staking out a claim under the Homestead Act in the wilderness of the Copper River Basin area. They built a log cabin and lived on the homestead for five years, from 1950 to 1955. Three children were born during this period: Forest Richard Gowin (1949 – 1966), Dale Robert Gowin (1950), and Alan Roy Gowin (1953 – 2008). The family moved to the city of Anchorage in 1955, where the older children were enrolled in public school, and that year the fourth child, Anola Rose Gowin, was born. A year later they relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, and then settled in Connecticut in 1959.

Dorothy’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1972. In 1974 she achieved a lifelong goal by graduating from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Later that year she moved to Syracuse, New York, to work with Janet Lugo (1928 – 2006) for the Quaker Information Center on Criminal Justice and the Alternatives to Violence Project. She was involved in the establishment of the first Quaker meetings inside the prisons of New York State. It was through this work that she met her second husband, William Sims. They were married in Auburn, New York, on April 23, 1990.

Dorothy worked for decades as a nurse’s aide in nursing homes and as a home health aide. Both in this professional work and in her extensive volunteer work, her life was defined by compassionate service and informed by her Quaker spiritual beliefs.

In 2001 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The last years of her life were spent in the Rosewood Heights nursing home in Syracuse. She died on April 22, 2007.


by Dorothy Gowin Sims:

"The Wheel" by Dorothy Gowin Sims

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