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Kathy (Mary Kathleen) Sims

May 6, 1942 July 5, 2019
Kathy (Mary Kathleen) Sims
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Obituary for Kathy (Mary Kathleen) Sims

Kathy Sims passed away July 5, 2019 from heart complications following major surgery. Kathy was born Mary Kathleen Sheridan May 6, 1942 in Spokane, Washington to Florence (Stocking) and Ned Sheridan. She was the middle child of four: older sister and brother, Carol and David, and younger sister, Kay.

Kathy was raised in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene, attending school in Post Falls and then at IHM Academy. As a child she loved reading and school. Kathy married Darrell G. Sims in 1958 and had three daughters, Rita Sims-Snyder, Michelle Sims, and Susan Sims. Rita who went on to work in the family business, Michelle who lived and worked in Wisconsin, and Susan who served in the US Army and is now Postmaster in Priest River.

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 Avenue 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 over 60 employees. The 50-year business is now owned and operated by 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 Avenue. 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 over 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 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: 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 Sunday July 21, 2019 from 3-6 pm at the Eagles Lodge, 209 Sherman Avenue, downtown Coeur d’Alene. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Idaho Freedom Foundation or The Children’s Village.

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




3:00 PM 7/21/2019 3:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 7/21/2019 6:00:00 PM
Eagles Lodge Club

209 E. Sherman Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Eagles Lodge Club
209 E. Sherman Ave. Coeur d'Alene 83814 ID
United States

Memorial Contribution

Idaho Freedom Foundation

802 W. Bannock St.
Suite 405
Boise, ID 83702

Children's Village

1350 W. Hanley Ave.
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83815

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