SIMS, Salie Jane Salie Jane Sims passed peacefully early Sunday morning, September 22, 2019 after a lifelong battle with diabetes. She was surrounded by her loving daughter and family. Salie was born on March 18, 1949 in Atlanta, GA to Morris and Bette Sims, the second of 3 precious daughters. Her father insisted that she have a "good Southern name" so her mother named her Salie Jane! Salie and her sisters, Sonie and Joanie, grew up in Venezuela as part of Exxon Creole. Salie's first language was Spanish and she had an enduring love for South American culture and foods. She was an expert empanada maker and loved arepas, black beans, ropa vieja and FLAN. As teenagers, Salie and her sisters traveled to Charleston, SC to Ashley Hall boarding school. Salie often recounted tales of dating Citadel cadets, endless studying sessions and sneaking cigarettes in Shell House with seniors. She attended Texas Christian University with intentions of becoming a teacher; she enjoyed studying Spanish and Russian history. At age 22, Salie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With the help of her family and lots of hard work, Salie found that she was able to manage this terrible disease. Through her doctor, Bruce Bode, she became a pioneer, being one of the first to have an insulin pump. Salie married twice in her life, first to Michael Mathis with whom she had her daughter, Cameron. Later, she married her teenage sweetheart, Sonny Hicks. While Salie had a successful career as a legal secretary, working many years at Smith Curry and Hancock and then Jones Day Reeves and Pogue, her main priority was raising her daughter. They lived in Atlanta, GA with their two Yorkshire terriers, Marty and Tucker and their cats, Charlie and Bobby. Salie was an excellent mother; always offering support, laughter and love, but encouraging independence and strength. Salie and Cameron often traveled to visit her sisters in Haiti and Florida. "Aunt Sal" was loved by her nieces and nephew and many happy evenings were spent giving her makeovers and listening to the sisters laugh and chat. In 2000, Salie became a grandmother to the first of her four grandchildren. And then, in 2001, diabetes changed Salie's life again. Through sheer will and the loving support of her sisters and mother, Salie worked to regain her abilities to independently manage her life and her diabetes. She moved back to Charleston in 2009 to live with her daughter and family. Salie loved being the matriarch, Gransal, of 4 grandkids, 2 dogs, fish, rats and a cat. She also loved spending time with her son-in-law, Chris. Salie spent her time playing Solitaire on her Nook, a gift from her older sister Sonie; Salie often said this was the best gift she ever received. She also enjoyed reading mystery novels, watching the news, weather and scary movies. Most of all Salie loved spoiling her family; she bought many sweet treats for her grandkids and granddogs! During this time, Salie met her good friend, Sharon Brown- Gilliard. Through their lunches and adventures around Mt. Pleasant, SC, Sharon helped Salie's faith in God grow and deepen. Salie often recounted to her daughter the many prayers she said for her loved ones and her deep hope and belief that she would be reunited with her mom and dad, Sonny and her holy Father. Salie Jane Sims was a beloved mother, sister, grandmother and friend. Her strength and courage was an inspiration to all who knew her and she will be greatly missed. She lived her life with dignity and humor, loyal to all she loved. But, she is finally free of pain and disease, healthy and happy, enjoying her family and loved ones in Heaven. Knowing Salie, she is drinking her diet Coke with lime, chewing her nicorette and telling some quirky, funny story. She is survived by her daughter, Cameron and her son-in-law, Chris; her four grandchildren, Sullivan Anabela, Christian "Obi", Charles Michael and Eleanor Mae Jane; her sister, Sonie Sims, nieces, Catherine, Audrey and Mathilde and their families; her sister, Joanie Carter and beloved brother-in-law, Randy, and niece, Nicole, nephew, Sims and their families. In lieu of flowers, please donate to JDRF to help others afflicted with type 1 diabetes.
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sep. 29, 2019.