May 3, 1930 - July 30, 2020 Keith Sims often told his family that when he was 12 years old, he prayed for God to give him a family and God surely did answer his prayer. Keith was born in Caldwell County, to the late Nathan Finley and Eula Sims May 3, 1930. He spent his entire life on his family farm in the Dudley Shoals community, a place he loved so much that he claimed, "When God created the Heavens and the Earth, He started right here in Dudley Shoals." It is there, God blessed Keith with the family he prayed for when he was a young boy. And, after raising his family, and living a long and full life, Keith peacefully left the community he loved so dearly to enter eternity with God during his sleep Thursday, July 30, 2020. In addition to his parents, Keith was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Shirley McRary Sims; infant son; grandson, Tyler; brother, Dwight Sims; sisters Edith Starnes and Evelyn Brinkley; life-long friends, Alden and Margaret Starnes; and numerous additional family and friends. Keith attended Dudley Shoals Baptist Church his entire life and was an active member for over 80 years. At D.S.B.C., he spent his life serving God through teaching, serving as a deacon, and leading missions. He was one of the founders of Brick Missions and helped brick over 50 churches as close as North Carolina and as far away as Russia, but he had a special place in his heart for churches in West Virginia. Keith was a graduate of Oak Hill High School, where he met his future wife, Shirley, and loved to play baseball. He was offered a scholarship to play baseball for Wake Forest University, but instead chose to remain in Caldwell County, help on his family farm, and spend time with his brother, Dwight, who passed away at a young age. A farmer and later a career insurance agent with Farm Bureau Insurance, Keith gladly opened his home to serve his customers and valued being able to help Caldwell County residents for over 30 years. He and Shirley enjoyed many opportunities to travel with people who became life-long friends, made through Farm Bureau. Keith, Shirley, and their five children opened Sims Country Bar-B-Que on his family farm in 1979, after getting the idea on a hunting trip to Texas with his two sons. Keith dreamed of opening his farm to make a place where his family and community could come together to eat and fellowship. What Keith set his mind to, he went after full speed and typically accomplished, and so 40 years later, the Bar-B-Que is still a place for family, friends, and community to gather and enjoy a meal, good music, and good fellowship. Keith made many special friends through the BBQ, and his family is so thankful for your friendship to Keith. Keith loved to clog and dance, and he enjoyed getting to do that at the restaurant and wherever he traveled in the world. Through the Bar-B-Que, Keith also started the Molasses Festival to raise money for missions. This too was a way for Keith to get people together on the farm for a good time and to raise money for people who needed help. God answered Keith's prayer for a family. He is survived by his daughters, Sharon Kohnle and husband, Charlie, Brenda Stepp and husband, Joe, Susan Brown and husband, John; sons, Michael Sims and wife, Melissa, Joe Sims and wife, Glennie; sisters-in-law, Blanche Reid and Betsy McRee; grandchildren, Jill Kirby and AJ, Ben Kohnle and Shannon, David Stepp and Candace, Phillip Stepp and Brooke, Adam Brown, Cindy Brown, Katie Richards and Nick, Ryan Sims and Megan, Whitney Braswell and Trey, Scott Sims and Kelsey, Andrew Sims and Samara, Molly Sims, 16 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. His family extended to all of his church family, his employees, his Farm Bureau family, and the bands, customers, and friends throughout the years at the Bar-B-Que. We will all miss seeing Grandpa Sims' beautiful smile and white cowboy hat while he clogs and plays the spoons. Additionally, his family included the caregivers who loved and cared for Keith and Shirley in the last years of their lives. Thank you, to each of you, for loving Keith and Shirley so well. Keith loved to travel, and he loved to take his family and friends along with him. He loved meeting new people and never knew a stranger. Wherever he went in the world, Keith took his dancin' shoes, spoons, and white cowboy hat with him and he wasn't shy about using them and inviting you to dance, too. He loved to dance, eat good food, and listen to good music. Most of all, he loved God and his family. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made to the Tyler Sims Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of The Education Foundation of Caldwell County, 1914 Hickory Blvd., Lenoir, NC 28645; or to the Mission Fund at Dudley Shoals Baptist Church, 1882 Dudley Shoals Rd., Granite Falls, NC 28630. Evans Funeral Service & Crematory www.evansfuneralservice.com
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