In Memory

Rita Dea Sims (Quigley)

Rita Dea Sims (Quigley)

From April Blackburn (Kochan) - Rita came to Bellaire her senior year, as I recall, after she had lost her mother and moved to live with her closest relatives, an aunt and uncle. She was such a sweet, sweet girl. After graduation, Rita attended TCU where she pledged Alpha Delta Pi. 

Rita Dea Sims Quigley, 57, of Huntsville passed away Sunday, 9/5/2010, in her home surrounded by her husband, three daughters, and friends.

Rita had been battling skin cancer for 3.5 years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and Thomson Cancer Survival Center in Knoxville.

Rita was born March 11, 1953 at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., to Air Force Col. Robert D. Sims and Evelyn Crain Sims. She was raised in Bethesda, Md., and then Houston, Texas after the death of her mother.

She married Air Force Capt. Patrick C. Quigley on Feb. 25, 1984 in Shreveport, La.

She graduated in 1977 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Texas Christian University where she was an active member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She did graduate studies at the University of Maryland, completing all but two classes before moving to England in 1985.

After nursing school, she worked in open heart surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, Texas, with Dr. Denton Cooley.

She became a pharmaceutical sales representative and later worked in marketing, research and development for Boots Pharmaceuticals.

Until she was unable, she worked part time at Huntsville Pediatric Associates as a telephone triage nurse.
She is survived by her husband, retired Air Force Col. Patrick C. Quigley; and their three daughters, Patricia Grace, Sarah Evelyn, and Mary Elizabeth; Jack Japp, cousin in Lawton, Okla; and Toni Juneau, cousin in Ozark. Preceding her in death were her father, Air Force Col. Robert D. Sims, of Ozark; and her mother, Evelyn Crain Sims, of Lawton, Okla.

Rita will be remembered for her love of Jesus Christ. She was a godly wife and mother. She coached Miracle League Baseball and Special Olympics Swimming.

Visitation with the family will be at 12:30 p.m. today and a memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church, 1355 Douglass Road N.W. in Huntsville, by their pastor, Jess Smith. For more information, call Providence Baptist Church at 256-895-7279.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Providence Baptist Church or Madison County Special Olympics.

Rita's family would like to thank their church family at Providence Baptist Church for their love, prayers and support during this journey.

Berryhill Funeral Home will be assisting the family.