Kathleen May (McFarlane) Sims passed away peacefully in her bed this past Sunday, November 20 at the age of 105.
Born in Cranbrook at 128 Garden Ave. (now 12th) on June 23rd, 1911 to parents Sadie (Fletcher) and Walter Bruce McFarlane, Kay had fond memories of growing up in a booming town with her sister Grace (Hulland), and brothers Murray and Jim McFarlane. She had vivid
memories of walking to Moyie to spend summers at a family friend’s cabin, and taking the CPR baggage car to Kuskanook on Kootenay Lake for hot summer weekends. She even recalls skating on Kootenay Lake with friends in Gray Creek.
Kay attended Normal School (teacher training) in Victoria in 1930-31, and after a stint substitute teaching at Lumberton, she taught in the Kimberley area for over 40 years, with one stint away teaching a class of 45 students in Comox. Back here in Kimberley, Mrs. Sims
taught elementary school at the old Marysville Schoolhouse, Chapman Camp School, and Lindsay Park. In some cases she taught three generations of Kimberley families, and always remembered her student’s names, even decades after her 1971 retirement from teaching. She continued to be active in the Retired Teacher’s Association right up to the end. After her retirement Kay was also a fixture volunteer at the Hospital Auxilliary Thrift Store for many
Kay met and married Harold John Wesley Sims in 1948, a shop foreman at Cominco’s Sullivan Mine in Kimberley. Soon after they moved into a new Company house on 6th avenue in Townsite, and had three boys, Jack Warren, Paul Macfarlane, and Michael Allan Sims. Some of her fondest memories of her youth in Kimberley included dances and games nights at the old MacDougal Hall, and playing basketball on the Kimberley women’s team, a pastime that included several memorable road trips to tournaments in Kamloops and Golden.
After Harold’s early death in 1954, Kay took on the job of raising three boys by herself. Even after Jack, Paul, and Mike left home, she continued to take in strays, and the long list of her wards for days to months include her grandchildren Christopher, Shalon, David, Jeff, and Alan. These young people all became expert card sharks and bowlers after their time with Kay.
Kay moved into the Kimbrook Apartments in 1977, and apartment 203 was a hub of activity and visitors up until 1998, when she packed up and moved all the way next door to apartment 205, where she lived out her days. Even those of Kay’s acquaintances who lived elsewhere
planned an annual visit to Kay into their travels, and her apartment door was never closed for long. She continued to receive a steady stream of friends, family, and old pupils right up until
Saturday, the day before her passing.
Kay outlived her sons Jack and Paul, her husband Harold, and all her siblings, and was constant in her faith that she would meet up with her family again up in Heaven. She is there with them now. She is survived her son Mike (Helen), and a multitude of nieces, nephews, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandchildren, and a wide, caring community of friends.
The Family would like to thank her loving community at the Kimbrook Apartments for their years of care, support, and love for Kay through thick and thin. It is through their undying
friendship that Kay was able to fulfill her wish of dying at home. This wish was also supported by the caring staff at WeCare and IHA Home Support.
Kay, Mum, Auntie Kay, Gramma Kay, Mrs. Sims had a feisty spirit that sometimes got her into hot water, but she was loved by all, and will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and neighbours. She will be remembered for her home-made buns, her ferocious love of card games, her tenacious spirit, and her always open apartment door.
There will be a memorial gathering for Kay at the Centennial Hall on Friday November, 25, 1:30 – 3:30pm. Internment to follow at 4pm at Kimberley Cemetery. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Kay’s name can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Kathleen Sims (MacFarlane)
“Slow Me down, Lord
Ease the Pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind”