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Janice K. Sims

1947 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Janice K. Sims Obituary
Janice K. Sims
December 14, 1947 -

February 24, 2016

After a long and spirited battle, Janice K. Sims succumbed in her battle against cancer. She was 69. Although the Yuba-Sutter area was Janice's home, her remarkable life saw her travel the world, while spending time living in Ireland, Germany, Spain, and Somalia.

Janice was born in Scotia, California, on December 14, 1947, the second of four children of Bill and Mollie Ricker. The Ricker family came to settle in Marysville a few years later, and Janice grew up on Feather River Blvd.

Before her graduation from Marysville High School, Janice met and married Jim Jordahl. From this marriage, Janice welcomed into this world her only child, a daughter - Kimberley. After graduation from high school, Janice and Jim moved to the Bay Area where Jim was attending school. After her divorce in 1976, Janice returned to the Yuba-Sutter area. Janice's love of books led her to her first job in the Yuba College library. After working in the library for a period of time, she transferred to a position in the YC Financial Aid Office. This move had life changing consequences for her future. After working in the financial aid office for more than four years - by accident - she and her supervisor Bill (husband-to-be) met at a football game in Oakland, CA. The two began secretly dating, and after a courtship, the two were married in 1983. The statute of limitations surely has expired on their transgressions, so now the truth can come out.

Janice, who had earned her Associate's Degree from Yuba in 1980, returned to school full time after the wedding at Bill's insistence, and she finished her undergraduate studies in Mass Communication at California State University, Sacramento in the Spring of 1985.

The pair moved to Dublin, Ireland where Janice studied for her Master's degree at the National Institute for Higher Education. She returned to CSUS where she completed her degree in 1987. Next up for the pair was the U.S. Naval Station in Rota, Spain, where Janice taught classes to American military personnel for the University of Maryland, University of Chicago, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Janice applied to work for the Foreign Service, a branch of the State Department in 1986, and while waiting for background security to be completed, Janice and Bill moved to Germany to wait for the call. Janice finally received her clearance, and the couple returned to the states in Warrenton, Virginia where Janice was trained for four months as a communications officer. After completing her training in 1988, she and Bill were off to Mogadishu, Somalia, where Janice worked in the U.S. Embassy. During their two years of service in the government, Janice and Bill were able to travel extensively in Africa. They visited Kenya many times, (including once because Janice had broken her foot jumping rope at home, and Nairobi, Kenya had the closest hospital to their location in Mogadishu.) Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, and Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). As the 1980's came to a close, Somalia was becoming a very unsettled place. With the threat of war in the air, gun battles going on near their home in the city, and beginning to feel government service was becoming too dangerous, the Sims returned home to the Yuba-Sutter area, settling in the Tierra-Buena area.

Janice, who never lost her love of travel, knew there were grandchildren coming in her near future, and she made sure Bill understood she wanted to be around to watch them grow up. She returned to Sac. State and earned her California Teaching Credential in Elementary Education. Janice would grace the teaching profession for the next 15 years in both the Yuba City Unified School District (Park Avenue School), and then for Sutter County Schools at Encinal School in Live Oak.

Janice was an active volunteer with the Buttes Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, serving from 1994-2001. While vacationing on the beach at Point Magu in Southern California, Janice and Bill experienced the 1994 Northridge earthquake which caused widespread damage throughout Southern California. The couple was able to make it back home safely and then they returned to the area and spent significant time in Los Angeles after the earthquake in 1994 providing support for the victims of the quake. She was honored with an Outstanding Service Award in 1994 by the Buttes Area Chapter.

Janice and Bill continued to travel the world through the years, visiting over 40 countries and experiencing more culture than most people can even dream about. One of Janice's favorite travel memories was a seven-week journey she and Bill took around Thailand. Leaving with nothing but a backpack and a small suitcase, Janice returned with five large suitcases full of gifts for family and friends.

While traveling the world was certainly a high point in Janice's life, it was the role of grandmother (Grammy), which Janice relished.

When Kim had her first child, a daughter named Anna Olivia West on August 19, 1992, in Napa, California, Grammy Janice was standing just outside the open door, and heard her son-in-law David West announce the arrival of a baby girl. Janice's squeal of delight was heard inside the room by both proud mother and father, and the entire medical team. Anna was followed by Nolan West on April Fool's Day in 1994, and Grammy and Papa Bill would be a constant positive influence on their lives, as they were with all of their grandchildren. With the blended combination of both Janice and Bill's family the couple had nine grandchildren (Jason Sims, Niyia Sims, Marcus Gonzales, John Stryker, Kenny Sims Jr., Tonya Stryker, Cyrena Paulado, Miyia Sims, along with Anna and Nolan West.) and two great-grandchildren. Janice was truly in her element.

Janice and Bill delighted in having big family gatherings through the years, having huge holiday gatherings at their home, and on multiple occasions taking the entire family on vacations. Twice the Sims-West clans vacationed in Hawaii, once in Orlando, Florida, and finally the entire crew cruised to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico.

Janice was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2012, and fought the effects of the devastating illness until the very end. In the final week of her life, the Ricker, Sims, and West family reunited at her side to pay respects to a wonderful mother, grandmother, and loving lady who had given so much of herself to her family in her later years. All of the grandchildren and many other close family relatives were able to arrive from around the world to spend a little more time with the family matriarch. Janice made it through the entire week while all of her grandchildren came to visit and say their good-byes, and after they had returned to their lives, Janice finally rested her head and departed this world Wednesday, February 24, 2016.

Janice is survived by her husband of 33 years, Bill Sims, of Yuba City, CA; a brother Rick Ricker (Linda), of Salt Lake City, UT; a sister, Mary Ames (John) of Winthrop, ME; a daughter, Kimberley West, of Grass Valley, CA; step-sons Kenneth Sims, of Marysville, CA, Reggie Sims, of Sacramento, CA, and a step-daughter, Terri Sims, of Yuba City, CA; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her Aunt Jewel and Uncle Artie Dodson of Visalia, along with cousins, nieces, and nephews too, numerous to name.

The family is asking for donations to be made to the Rideout Cancer Center in Marysville, CA in Janice's name. Donations should be addressed to the Rideout Foundation, 618 Fifth Street, Marysville, CA 95901.

We the family and friends are all saddened by Janice's passing, but everyone is also thankful for the years we were allowed to be graced by Janice's presence. There will be no services for Janice, because she didn't want people fussing over her. Just remember the super lady who touched so many lives and smile, remembering good times you might have spent in her presence. Janice has her legacy of family and she is happy for all of them. She wants everyone to enjoy life in whatever way makes them happy. So remember Janice Sims for the lady she was when you knew her, whenever it may have been, because she was a lady for all people.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2, 2016
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