May 4, 1921 – Dec. 5, 2013
(Bertha) Jewel Sanner Sims, 92, passed away peacefully at University Retirement Community in Davis following a day in which she was watched over by loving family and visited by caring friends and compassionate caregivers. A special blessing was an unexpected visit by the Davis Threshold Choir who brought comfort and peace through their a cappella bedside singing.
Jewel was born on the Sanner Farm in Shelby County, Ill., to Truman Quintus Sanner and Bernice Ann Jones Sanner. She was the sixth of eight children who, with their mother, formed a family orchestra and entertained in schools and churches throughout the area. Following graduation as valedictorian from Mount Zion High School she received her bachelor degree in education from Illinois State Normal (Teachers) University in Bloomington, Ill., in 1944. She taught Math in Maroa, Ill., for four years. She then returned to college and received her Master of Science in Education in 1949 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her Illinois State Life High School Certificate in 1950.
She met her future husband “Bill” in Madison. They were engaged on Thanksgiving Day, 1950 and married May 26, 1951. Jewel worked at the University of Wisconsin as a secretary while Bill finished his Ph.D. They moved to Texas in 1952 when Bill was hired as an assistant professor. Their two sons were born in Mercedes, Texas.
Jewel and Bill moved to Davis in 1956 when Bill was hired at UC Davis as an Extension vegetable crops specialist. Their third child, a daughter, was born.
As a mother, Jewel was involved in the children’s activities at Davis Parent Nursery School, at the little league snack bar, in the library of West Davis Elementary school and as a cub scout den mother. When the children were older she went back to work part-time at the UCD Health Center, Campus Events and the Box Office.
She enjoyed her church activities, university affiliations and playing bridge with her friends. She travelled internationally with her husband, who had sabbatical leaves that included New Zealand and Egypt.
Jewel is survived by her children Bill Sims Jr. (Holly), John Sims (Pam) and Julie Hershberger (Neil); 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews. Favorite family memories include delicious beef-stew dinners and singing “Gray Squirrel” with Grandma.
Jewel was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, William Lynn Sims; her brothers James, Samuel (Marian), Herbert (Mary), Truman (Juanita), Karl and Lloyd; and sister Dorothea Sanner.
Per her wishes, there will be a private burial and celebration of Jewel’s life.
Expressions of sympathy can be made through donations to one of the following: Davis Community Church, University Retirement Community, Yolo Hospice or California State Library Foundation for the Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL).