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Katherine Sims Marks

July 2, 2019
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Katherine Sims Marks passed peacefully today, July 2, at her home in South Carolina. She was a beloved mother, and a joy to those who knew her. Laughter always surrounded her. Born in Chester SC in 1935 she was a daughter of the late Stark Sims Jr. and Fannie Hale Betts Sims.  Katherine, or Kate, as she was known to her siblings, spent most of her adult life living in the Columbia, SC area in between traveling the world with her devoted husband, Richard Marks, deceased in 2014, to who she was married almost 50 years.

Doted on by her husband, after his death her caregivers were expected to provide the same level of responsiveness, an expectation that was never quite met, but always encouraged. Generous with her time and money, she never met a stranger whether she was in Budapest, Istanbul, Morocco, Paris, Edisto Island, or at her local grocery store. She was curious about all cultures and did not have a prejudiced bone in her body. She was a fierce protector of the underdogs in our society and supported numerous children, wildlife and animal charities. Outspoken and direct, she pulled no punches but her words were never intended to wound. She was not afraid to speak Truth to Power, and up until her final days on this earth, discussed politics with those around her.

In her final career at the Veterans Hospital in Columbia, her mission was to ensure that every veteran received the benefits they were entitled to, and if there was a problem, her former colleagues, also her best friends, say she was relentless in solving it. After her retirement from the VA, she went on to volunteer as a Guardian ad litem, helping Richland County determine what was in the best interests of children in the court system.

Katherine loved cooking and had a holiday ritual to bake and deliver dozens of rum cakes, even when caring for her terminally ill husband. She also loved gardening (from afar, as she was the designer, not the digger), reading, traveling, and shopping. Although she never mastered the computer, she did master the “Buy Now” button, and kept the UPS driver busy.

She leaves behind four grieving children-Lisa (Prevo) Rodgers, Linda Clement, Sandy (Tim) Durham, and Jabos (Kim) Clement, as well as a sister, Frances Kinsey, brother, Stark (Kathy) Sims, four grandsons, and three great grand-daughters.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to PSP.org. Katherine died of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare brain disease, and made a decision before she died to donate her brain tissue to the Mayo Clinic to further research into this truly terrible affliction.

Her ashes will be interred with those of her husband, Richard Marks, in the columbarium at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, at a future date.

 

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