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Spencenia Sims

October 11, 1941 - May 24, 2018

Mrs. Spencenia Howard, better known as Spencer to her friends and Sisterbabe to her family, was the youngest of three children born from the union of Matthew Howard and Martha Byrd on November 10, 1941.

She was a graduate of Gloster High School in Gloster, MS where she played basketball. Always independent, she left Mississippi to live with her cousins Mary-Sally and Obie while she attended college. To earn money she babysat their daughter, Phyllis, which began her love and relationship with children. Spencer enjoyed laughing and spending quality time with family. While spending time with her cousin, Robert Williams, she met the love of her life for 57 years, Curtis Sims.

Curtis and Spencer were married in 1960 and to this union, four children were born - Lenor, Edward, Paris, and Aaron.

Spencer worked as a housekeeper, then later as an administrative assistant at SRI where she was well liked by her colleagues and was a member of the office softball team. She wasn't the best player, but she cheered the loudest. Her next jobs were the lead inspector for Atari and Priam. The day she brought the Atari console home they couldn't keep kids out of the house. Aaron was the reigning house champion and took on all contenders.

She retired from working in 1982 stating her kids were getting out of hand and needed her. She actively participated in the PTA, being a booster member at the Carlmont High School and was part of the Grad Night Committee. She proudly invited the family to witness her great accomplishments and final product.

Later, Spencer decided to extend herself to community families by nurturing and loving their children. It started out as caring for one but her concern with the rising cost of daycare and the financial burden on the families soon blossomed into a full-time career caring for a total of 21 children. One child stated, "I don't want to go to regular school, I want to go to Mrs. Sims' school:'

She loved those kids and they loved her. Many are now parents and still drop by to see her. She officially closed her doors once her grandchildren were born.

Spencer loved her church and was a proud, dedicated member of Macedonia Baptist Church. She taught Sunday School and provided breakfast for the kids every Sunday.

Spencer cherished her family and created an environment where all were welcome and could feel the love at the first greeting. She leaves behind a cherished husband Curtis Sims, two daughters, Lenor Sims and Paris Sims-Hill, one son Aaron Sims, one sister Fannietta Anderson, daughter-in-law MaryAm, four granddaughters: Ciara, Ella, Ava, Kayla, and a host of nieces, nephews and a community of friends.

She is preceded in death by her mother, father, brother Roosevelt Howard and son Edward Sims. Our Mom always said, "You always have a home at 211 Daphne Way:' It didn't matter how old we were. We were always her babies.

Mom was a huge sports fan. She loved watching all sports, especially the local sports teams. During the seasons, she could be seen sporting her 49er's and Warriors 't-shirts . She coached the girls' Bobby Sox softball team that Paris played on and was the loudest cheerleader in the stands. Not only for her kids, but the entire team . It continued with her granddaughters' gymnastics meets and basketball games . Recently, during a Woodside High School Wildcats football game everyone was cheering loudly in the stands and she ended the cheer with a "Growl''. Everyone in the stands just laughed.

Mom was passionate about garage sales and she went every Saturday. Her method offer - 50% below the stated price. She was a master negotiator with a smile.

Edward told us one day he was purchasing a watermelon from a man in the neighborhood who said, "This lady wanted to buy a watermelon. I told her they were sweet:' She said, "Plug one so I can taste it:'

He did, but she said, "Plug another one:' Immediately, Edward knew this lady and laughed. It was his Mom. Only Mom would ask for two watermelons to be plugged for samples.

Mom provided encouragement and comfort. She was Daddy's cheerleader when things were difficult at work .She encouraged and supported him believing he could accomplish anything he desired. My Dad explained that while working at Raychem he was asked to go to Mississippi and help in shutting down the facility. He accepted, then realized he would have to fly there. He came home and told Mom the news. She reacted, "I want to go:' By the time she finished on the phone with the airline, not only did she have a seat next to him, but the cost of her ticket was less. My Dad said he was so comforted and relieved that she would be accompanying him. My Mom turned my desire to take my first trip outside of the country into a reality. I was 14 at the time and it wasn't the most popular decision, but she financed it and my love for travel was born.That experience also impacted the lives of my other siblings. We all got the travel bug.

A mom is not just the vessel that delivers a baby. Most of the time she sacrifices her needs and puts the needs of her family above her own, selflessly. A mom knows how to improvise and how to make something out of nothing. Our house had wall heaters and the warmth never reached the back bedrooms. Her solution: She would take a blanket and lengthwise place it against the heater. In the meantime, we would be standing by the bed blankets pulled back. Then she would yell, "You ready?" We confirmed, and she would run down the hallway, place the blanket in the bed and we would climb in. I can still hear her footsteps.

There are too many memories to recall, but we will never forget the way she made us feel special and loved. Her giving, generous, and loving nature will be in our hearts forever. Rest peacefully, Momma. We will miss you and as you so often sang when you left us messages, "I just called to say, I love you ... I just called to say how much I care ... I just called to say, I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my heart:'

Four young ladies are honored to recall Spencenia as grandma. They are left to continue blooming on earth living out her legacy as joyful spirits that share unconditional love to those that they will encounter.

Spencer began living out her purpose in 1979 when she opened her heart and arms to the neighborhood by providing safe and affordable childcare. Launching with her neighbor's granddaughter Spencer continued to open her doors to what affectionally became known as Ms. Sims School time after time. Those who were privileged to be a part of her extended family are as follows: Jamila Fulton Darrelle Cleveland Markita Simmons Adrienne Jack Jacari Spencer Brandon Gray Nicole Watkins Delmar Hayman Allana Hayman Olivia Brooks Anthony Brooks Cameisah Sharper Deshawn Howard Tramell McCloigh Tyler Lawrence Austin Yarbrough Kazman Yarbrough Zarioh Stevenson Josiah Stevenson Ciara Hill Ella Sims Ava Sims Kayla Sims

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