The Meridian Star
Owner/CEO/President of Berry and Gardner Funeral Home
Services for Ulpiana P. Sims will be held Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Meridian at 3 p.m. with Father Francis Cosgrove officiating. Interment will follow in Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be held Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home.
Ulpiana Sims was born March 21, 1927 to the late Leopoldo and Feliciana Pacio, in San Fernando LaUnion, Philippine Islands. She transitioned on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 at her home surrounded by her loved ones.
In 1986, after the passing of her husband, George Frank Sims, who was the owner of Berry and Gardner Funeral Home, Ulpiana took over the business, with no training. She became licensed in 1987. She became the CEO/President and Owner of the historic Berry and Gardner Funeral Home, one of the oldest funeral homes in the nation.
"OP" as she was fondly called, attended Tioch High School in Jasper County and was a graduate of Jackson State College with a BS Degree in Elementary Education. She began and completed her teaching career at Mt. Barton Elementary School.
She was a member of the National and Mississippi Funeral Directors and Morticians Associations; the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women; the Aurora Club; the Meridian-Lauderdale County Jackson State University Alumnae Association and a dedicated member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where she served on the Finance and Pastoral Councils.
Ulpiana Sims was an entrepreneur, real estate developer, philanthropist and humanitarian who was genuinely concerned about the welfare of others. She has generously donated to the Boys and Girls Club; Multi-County Community Agency; Girl Scouts of America; sponsored adult and little league basketball, softball, and baseball teams in Lauderdale and Clarke counties; was a benefactor for scholarships given to Meridian High School students; contributed to other local charities, campaigns, churches, clubs and organizations. She was committed to her family, her church, her community and service, while feeding the hungry, housing the homeless (Rent-Free) and taking care of the needy.
Serving as active pallbearers will be the National and Mississippi Funeral Directors and Morticians Associations.
Honorary pallbearers: Jonathan Christian Sullins, Staff Sergeant Grenilo Caspillan, Areon Armani McCraven, Lundon Stephon Ward, Jahylun James Womack, Adam Christopher Clay, Sr., Jared Clay, Matthew Brooks Jackson, Young Master John Dennis Quedado, Jr., and Young Master Jonathan Dresden Sullins.
Survivors include her children: Esperanza Kennedy Sullins and her husband, Colonel Palmer Sullins, Jr.; Robert Kennedy, Jr.; and Dorothy Jean Sims West and her husband Dr. Fred West; god-daughters: Victoria Jackson and her husband, Bernard; and Ledenia Pitts and her husband, Greg; grandchildren: Ayanna Ajanaku; Danyale A. Kennedy; Paris F. Johnson and her husband Jamal; Jonathan Christian Sullins and his wife, Jennifer; Yvette "Cocoa" Walk Quedado and her husband, Naval Chief Officer John Quedado, Sr.; ten great-grandchildren; sister: Virginia Guzman and her husband, Tino; nephew: former Senator George H. Clay and his wife, Patricia; other nieces and nephews of the Sims Family; remaining nieces, nephews, and cousins of the Kennedy family; her nearest and dearest cousins Gloria Hall and Venus Jackson; a host of other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made to the Boys and Girls Club at P.O. Box 4202, Meridian, MS 39304; Multi-County Community Service Agency at P.O. Box 905, Meridian, MS 39302; the recently established Ulpiana P. Sims Scholarship Fund, Meridian-Lauderdale County Jackson State University Alumnae Chapter at 5037-37th Street, Meridian, MS 39307.