Former Cassopolis village trustee dies at age 85

CASSOPOLIS – Those who knew Geraldine Norwood Sims say she was “a spirited fighter and a voice of the people.”

Sims, a former Cassopolis Village Council trustee, died June 16. Born Feb. 12, 1936, in Chicago, Sims moved to Cassopolis in 2005 and served on the village council from 2011 to 2020.

In addition to serving as an elected village official, Sims was a founder of the Red Hat Sapphire Divas Chapter in Chicago, served as president of Block Club and AFSCME Local, was a co-director of Women United to Save Our Families, and worked with the City of Chicago Board of Health and Cook County Board of Review.

According to those who worked with her in the Village of Cassopolis, Sims was active in the community and worked to make the village better by listening to residents, going into their homes and hearing what changes they wanted to see. During her time in the village, Sims was involved in the parks and helping people get grants to fix their homes.

“She was a big-hearted lady and her heart was Cassopolis,” said Frank Williams, village president pro-tem. “She will be a great loss to the community. She was a big part of the community and always made sure things would be done right for the people.”

“Geraldine was a leader and passionate about the things she believed in,” added Cassopolis Village Manager Emile Sarratore. “She was always in roles to serve the people around her because she wanted to give back to the people of the community.”

Village Council President David Johnson remembers Sims as someone who always put the needs of the village first. Though he and Sims would sometimes disagree about what that meant, he said they always had a positive relationship.

“At one meeting, her and I got into a heated debate over a topic, and when it was finished, I was nervous it would damage our relationship,” Johnson recalled. “The moment we walked out the door, she said to me, ‘do you want to go down to The Twirl and grab some fried pickles?’ Then I thought she’s over it.”

Family and friends will gather to remember Sims at noon Friday at Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N.  Broadway St., Cassopolis.

“She will be greatly missed because she was a doer for the community,” Johnson said. “She went and fought for the betterment of the community. She was a spirited fighter and a voice of the people.”

Cass County

Former SMC instructor accepts plea deal in sexual misconduct case

Cass County

Vandalia resident sentenced to 10 months in jail for drug offense

Berrien County

Students experiencing homelessness remain hard to identify after year with remote education

Cass County

Dowagiac man heading back to prison on weapons charges

Dowagiac

Earl’s BBQ a hit at Summer in The City

Dowagiac

Local firefighter celebrates 30 years of service

Dowagiac

Emily Schrock returns to SMC in alumni position

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club breaks ground on centennial sign

Buchanan

Podcast tells Buchanan’s story through eyes of its residents

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Fifth annual Open Header Cruise sets participation record

Cass County

Following name change, Heritage Southwest unveils new signs, website

News

Man found hiding in tree fort after deliberately sideswiping another vehicle in Barron Lake Thursday

Dowagiac

Detectives seek charges against two residents following Wayne Township drug investigation

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg museum offering spaces for US-12 garage sale

Dowagiac

Gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller promotes importance of women’s health in new Ascension campaign

Brandywine Education

PAW Inc. to present ‘Legally Blonde Jr.’ this weekend

News

Niles District Library lecture series explores the life of 18th Century British soldier

Business

PHOTO STORY: Young Professionals see good turnout at third annual Paddlin’ Poker Run

Berrien County

Portage Road construction scheduled to begin Monday

Business

New Dowagiac vacation rental hosts Chamber After Hours event

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg mural takes shape

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 14-20

Education

Edwardsburg schools will not require masks, quarantining come fall

Buchanan

New pet grooming spa opens in Buchanan