Family-Placed Death Notice
SIMS, Bette BETTE JOYCE BURNLEY SIMS Bette Joyce Burnley Sims, champion amateur golfer and beloved community member, has died. She was 84. Bette suffered mitral valve failure and passed away peacefully in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of Piedmont Hospital Thursday evening. A passionate and dedicated golfer, Bette was a role model to her fellow members at the Atlanta Athletic Club, of which she was a member for 31 years. She won the AAC women's championship three times: in 1984, 1987 and 2005, when Bette was 80 years old. The Georgia-native also won the 1960 Pro/Amateur Golf Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, alongside the legendary pro Kathy Whitworth, whom Bette met three decades later for a friendly match at the AAC. Also under her belt: the 1979 AAC/Atlanta Women's Golf Association Golfer of the Year Award, the 2001 M.L. McKie Senior Championship, and the 2004 AAC President's Cup Championship. According to friends and family, Bette's natural skill, competitive spirit and love of the game kept her on the course at least four days a week. She was a leader among her contemporaries, as well as younger golfers. She was a regular at the AAC's Sunday couples golf. Bette played in the monthly AWGA Play Days, which took her to courses throughout the metro area. Born November 30, 1925 in Milstead, Georgia, Bette met her husband of 50 years, the late Morris Collins Sims, in high school. After World War II, the young couple moved to Venezuela, where they raised a family before retiring to Atlantain the mid 70's. Bette's family will remember her independent spirit, youthful charm, and remarkable poise, which drew people of all ages to her. She is survived by three daughters: Sonie and Salie Sims, and Joanie Carter. She leaves behind her loving sister, Jane Logus, as well as six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. The memorial service will be held Wednesday, 2 p.m., at Northside United Methodist Church (2799 Northside Dr. NW, Atlanta, 30305). There will be a private inurnment prior to the service in the church garden. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to The Yates Scholarship Program through Ga. State Golf Foundation, 121 Village Pkwy, Bldg. 3, Marietta, GA 30067 or log on to www.gsgf.org.
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 6, 2009.