Janet Lorene (Petty) Sims, age 83, of Lima and formerly of Bradenton, FL, died 2:55 p. m. Sunday March 18 at St. Rita’s Medical Center. She was born in Cherry Valley, IL to Harold ‘Dan’ and Augusta (Hinkle) Petty of Plainville, Indiana.
As a young girl, Janet grew up a farmer’s daughter on the sand hills of southern Indiana. While attending high school at Epsom, Ind., she met Robert Sims. They were married in 1948 while he was a student at Purdue University.
As her family grew, she resided in Vincennes, Linden, and Darlington, Ind. Her fondest memories are of Veedersburg, Ind where she was owner/operator of Jan’s Garden Center, encouraged her children in 4-H projects, Little League baseball, band, and spent time with her best friend, Anna Lou Crider.
In 1967, the family moved to Lima, OH. Janet worked in the loan department of what is now Huntington Bank, volunteered at Lima Memorial Hospital, and Red Cross Donor Days. She was the loudest voice in the stands cheering for her children participating in baseball, football, volley ball and active with Shawnee Football Moms. In 1974, she became a school bus driver for Shawnee school system. She retired to Bradenton, FL with bus driver friends in 1988. Although retired, she continued serving school children as a crossing guard for the elementary school and was a volunteer and President of the Manatee Hospital Auxiliary. Her home was always open to visits from family and friends. Her grandchildren nicknamed her “Sunshine Grandma”. After a stroke in 2009 she returned to the Lima area.
Janet was a Cincinnati Reds fan (Tampa Bay Rays while in Florida). She loved playing Solitaire, cooking, sewing, and spending time with her family. She also drugged her children…she drug them to church twice on Sunday, Weds night Bible study and any time the Church of Christ doors were open; where she sang boldly with emotion and passion.
Survivors include 2 sons: Steven Ray Sims, Kenneth Alan (Barbara Ann Spees) Sims, 2 daughters: Dena Ann Dodson and Trudy Rene’ (David Kenneth) Denison, 8 grandchildren: Aaron Kristoffer Dodson, Melissa Diane Borgman, Amanda Danielle Musto, Kenneth Walter Sims, Danielle Nora Denison, Tyler David Denison, Staci Marie (Matthew) Speer and Christi Sue (Joe) Hoffman, 12 great grandchildren, 1 sister: Felba Sue Byrd.
She was preceded in death by a son and daughter-in-law: Daniel Lee (Ellen Christine McDaniels) Sims, a daughter-in-law: Barbara Ann Rolf Sims, 2 brothers: Morris Lavern Petty and Marvin Leo Petty and 2 sisters: Norma Jean Biehl and Betty Louise Morgan.
Private family services will be at a later date and memorials may be given to Riley’s Children Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind.