Many are still reeling from the unexpected loss of a long-time community supporter and business owner who passed away Sunday.
An important member of the Chamber of Commerce, a cancer survivor, a successful businesswoman and a helping hand to those in need, Sue Sims passed away due to complications from surgery in Louisville this past weekend.
Though she is gone, Sims’ legacy continues to live on through the lives and hearts she generously touched.
“She was the first impression of Grayson County, and she made a lasting impression on anyone she met,” said Becky Escue, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
As owner and principal broker of Agency 1 Real Estate and a past President and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, Sims was probably the first person new residents and tourists talked to in Leitchfield, said Escue.
She “wasn’t one of those ruthless business people. She was compassionate, everyone trusted her and her judgement,” said Escue, who is also a member of Sims’ church, Leitchfield First United Methodist.
“Her mood never changed, whether it was a holiday or just an ordinary day,” Ilsa Johnson, director of Leitchfield tourism said.
Pastor Wayne Clemons, of Potters Hope, said of Sims, “She was an investor, she invested in people.”
Theresa Armstrong, General Manager of The Grayson County News-Gazette, said, “She was my first impression of Grayson County when we moved here in 2004. She found us our first house and treated us like family from the moment we moved here.”
Family and friends said that when Sims saw people going through rough financial times, she sent them a card, along with money to help them along. Sims was known for being a prolific card writer, sending one to anyone for any reason.
When talking of her passing, the pastor of the Leitchfield United First Methodist Church asked anyone who had received a card from her at one point to raise their hand. Every hand rose up - everyone at some point had received a card. Even when Sims was in the hospital she told her daughter, Kim Higdon, to send money to one of the nurses who was having a hard time
“It was all about helping people,” Higdon said. “As her children, we had to share her all of our lives.”
Sims spent most of her holidays helping those in need. On Thanksgiving mornings she would take dinners to the less fortunate and those who were shut in, spending her time volunteering for the hungry. She believed Christmas was about giving to the needy as well.
Higdon said she and her siblings were not allowed to give their mother gifts; instead, Sims asked for jars of peanut butter. The jars she received, both from friends and the “peanut butter box” always set out at Agency 1, were donated to the local food pantry.
In recognition of Sims’ generous, if quirky, habit, the Chamber of Commerce will be donating 100 jars of peanut butter to the food pantry in remembrance of her.
“That’s what she would’ve wanted,” Escue said.
A unique person whose death came as a shock to many, Sims will be remembered as a caring, giving person who has touched so many lives.
“Her passing is leaving a huge void in this community. I don’t know if anyone can take Sue’s place,” Escue said.
Because of her role in this community, Sims is leaving footprints that Johnson believes “no one can fill.”
Though no one can replace this compassionate, unique woman, Sims’ legacy lives on through her children, her grandchildren, and the many people whose lives she touched and cared for.