Arlene (Ellis) Sims

November 19, 1929 ~ November 23, 2021 (age 92)


Arlene Sims


Arlene went to Heaven to see her Lord and Savior on November 23, 2021.  She was born to Maudie Carpenter Ellis and Clarence J. Ellis In Washington, Iowa on November 19, 1929.  She graduated from Russell Hight School in 1948.


Arlene married Lowell Sims on July 8th, 1951 and they were blessed with 63 years together before Lowell passed in July of 2014.  They had two children, Gary and Diana. Although they lived in several places due to Lowell being transferred, she always considered Russell her home.  In 1983, they retired in Florida and became snowbirds spending most summers in Russell.


Arlene was a legal secretary for most of her career; however, she always had time for her family and tried to make every day special. Arlene was a compassionate, loving, considerate mom, grandmother and friend to all.  She had the patience of an angel and the ability to be the peacemaker/mediator which effectively balanced the giant personality of Lowell and his escapades.  


She loved her children and her grandchildren. Family was very important to her.  She made every holiday, birthday or accomplishment a special occasion. She created candy trails, scavenger hunts, and word games. She wrapped up everything in a beautiful package and turned it into a gift. Even a lost glove or a pair of new gym socks became a wrapped present or the prize at the end of the scavenger hunt. She would read and play games by the hours with her kids and grandkids and laugh uncontrollably.


She kept her cool, even when Gary drove his car through the garage door (Yes, she even taught us how to drive) and when Diana broke the Living Room window. She kept her cool, when Lowell would bring home another old treasure from a garage sale that he needed for parts to fix the other old broken treasure he bought at a garage sale the week prior. She went to every ballgame, recital, graduation or play in addition to helping with the food or costumes.  She gave her children and grandchildren the support they needed to try their best. And she would always cook or bake our favorite food to celebrate after events.  All were made to feel special, even if it wasn’t a perfect performance, she let us know that it is important to simply try.


She taught us how to pray before meals, to read the bible and to trust in God.  She truly was the rock in the family (although, she would let Lowell think he was) And, she loved us all unconditionally. She was our prayer warrior.  We truly knew we were in good hands because we were convinced she had a direct line to God. She enjoyed being a youth group leader and mentor for young children and teens.  She enjoyed sharing God’s Word with all.


She was continually referencing Philippians 4:11 and 13…For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


Mom’s memories and traditions will be shared forever within the family.  Mom wasn’t much for material items - however she loved her Gone with the Wind Collector’s Plates and her Garden Gnomes- which all of the grandkids are now enjoying. They will certainly be passed down from generation to generation. And because she always cooked our favorites for our special days; we will make certain that we add her favorites to future celebrations: Coffee, Pecan Pie, Onion Rings, and Chocolate everything.  She lived by the motto eat dessert first which usually meant Chocolate.


Arlene was preceded in death by her Husband Lowell, her Son Gary, Grandson Ryan Sims, Brother Edward Ellis, Sister Doris Bingamen-Fosmark, and her parents.


Arlene is survived by her Daughter Diana (Jim) Willits of Windsor Heights, Daughter-in-law Becky Sims of Ottumwa, and her four grandchildren: Courtney (Brian Trefil, Fiancé) Willits, of Chicago, Ashley Willits of Ames, Nick Sims of West Des Moines and Zach (Haley) Sims of West Des Moines, Her Sister Hazel Clanin of Russell and Brother Raymond Ellis of Manchester.


Memorials for Arlene may be given to the 1st Baptist Church in Russell, Iowa and the 1st Baptist Church in St James City, Florida.


“Don’t cry because it’s over - smile because it happened” (Dr. Seuss)

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arlene, please visit our floral store.


December 18, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
First Baptist Church

Russell, Iowa 50238

Funeral Service
December 18, 2021

2:00 PM
First Baptist Church

Russell, Iowa 50238

Interment following funeral service
December 18, 2021

Russell Cemetery
East Smith Street
Russell, Iowa 50238

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