Kathleen Sims, 77
Kathy Sims passed away July 5, 2019, from heart complications following major surgery. Kathy was born Mary Kathleen Sheridan on May 6, 1942, in Spokane, Wash., to Florence (Stocking) and Ned Sheridan.
She was the middle child of four: her older sister and brother are Carol and David, and younger sister is Kay.
Kathy was raised in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene, and attended school in Post Falls and then at IHM Academy. As a child, she loved to read and go to school.
Kathy married Darrell G. Sims in 1958 and had three daughters: Rita Sims-Snyder, Michelle Sims and Susan Sims. Rita went on to work in the family business. Michelle, lived and worked in Wisconsin and Susan served in the US Army and is now postmaster in Priest River, Idaho.
In 1968, she and Darrell opened their own motorcycle business, Coeur d’Alene Honda, with partners, Bob and Darlene Sandau. The business was located on Indiana Ave. in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The business was moved to Seltice Way, where it has prospered over the years, starting with one employee and growing to include Honda automobiles and several other franchises, now with over 60 employees. The 50-year old business is now owned and operated by her daughter, Rita and son-in-law, Ken Snyder.
After living in San Diego and Scottsdale for 5 years, she moved back home in 1985 and bought the historic Blackwell home at 820 Sherman Ave. She spent a year and over 100 gallons of paint stripper restoring the home with the help of Lizz Hoy. The Blackwell House Bed and Breakfast opened in 1986. For over 18 years, the inn was a successful and popular place for guests and special events, including over 150 weddings a year. Family and friends have many fond memories of wonderful holidays at the Blackwell House.
While running the Blackwell House, Kathy was still active in all aspects of the automobile and motorcycle business and industry. She became one of the first women to serve on the National Automobile Dealers Association Board of Directors, representing all women dealers West of the Mississippi. She also served on the Idaho Automobile Dealers board and numerous other boards. She broke many barriers and opened doors for the next generation of women dealers. She was a dedicated and inspirational leader.
For more than 30 years, Kathy was very active in local politics, serving as Republican Central Committee Chairman, State Senator and State Representative. She attended many national conventions and so loved her country and the State of Idaho. She enjoyed being a part of the political process and served her constituents well. She fought hard for less government and lower taxes - she was a force to be reckoned with.
Over the years Kathy supported many civic organizations including Rotary. In 1990, while on a Honda trip to Japan, she attended a local Rotarian meeting in Tokyo. It was a large meeting with hundreds of attendees and she was the only woman in the room. She spent her life challenging the status quo.
She was a grandmother to four grandchildren: Kara and Nathaniel Snyder and Jeremy and John Reilly. She enjoyed her grandchildren immensely and took every opportunity to spend time with them. She taught them all how to golf and how to win and lose gracefully at games like poker, chess, backgammon, monopoly and pool. She showed them how to live life to the fullest.
Kathy loved to golf and to travel and she made many friends over the years. She was a gracious hostess and loved to entertain. Her extended family was huge. She was a gutsy, determined, hardworking, generous and fun loving lady. She is gone too soon and our hearts ache.
Kathy is preceded in death by her daughter, Michelle Sims; her sister, Kay Maxwell and her parents.
A celebration of life will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, 2019, at the Eagles Lodge, 209 Sherman Ave., in downtown Coeur d’Alene. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Idaho Freedom Foundation or The Children’s Village.
Yates Funeral Home is entrusted with final arrangements. Please visit Kathy’s online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.