Walter Wrieth “Blackie” Sims
Walter Wrieth “Blackie” Sims, 94, passed away on January 3, 2022. He was a lifelong resident of the peninsula having been born on October 29, 1927 at Old Buxton Hospital.
Blackie was a lifelong member of Ivy Memorial Baptist Church. He attended Fork Union Military Academy from 1940-1946. After returning from WWII, he was awarded best athlete in 1946, having lettered in football, basketball and baseball.
He served his country in the U.S. Navy as an Airman Specialist 3rd Class. His assignments were the South Pacific Theatre to Okinawa.
Blackie was employed by Cochran Transportation in Richmond, VA (1951-1953) and C&P Telephone (1953-1956). He became owner and operator of W.W. Sims Esso (1956-1960) and W.W. Sims Shell (1960-1961); owner and manager of W.W. Sims Fuel Company (1961-1973) and Sims Marina (1965-1972) on the Chickahominy River, and owner and operator of three Midas Muffler Shops on the peninsula from January 1968 until his retirement in 1994.
In 1981, he was chosen as Midas International Southern Regional Dealer of the year and in 1985 was selected Midas International Dealer of the Year (out of 1,300 shops worldwide). He received this award at the National Convention in San Francisco in February 1986. Blackie served on the Midas National Dealer Board of Directors for six years and as treasurer for the Board for four years. He served on several committees from 1984-1990: Market Planning Committee, Convention Committee, Shop Operations Committee, Shop Operations and Advisory Committee, Operations Committee and Director, Chairman for National Toys for Tots Program and Midas fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He received the Pride of Midas Award in 1981 and was awarded a letter of commendation from Ronald and Nancy Regan for service on the Toys for Tots National Program in 1982.
Blackie was a member of the American Water Ski Association, holder of Century Club Membership for Barefoot Water Ski and Ski Jumping, Hampton Roads Water Ski Club, and the A.O.P.A. Association. He was a past member of the Williamsburg Country Club, Cedar Point Country Club and Mercury Lions Club. He also held a private pilot license.
Blackie was a proud sponsor of the Portsmouth Invitational Basketball Tournament and winner of the championship in 1969 with the Sims Fuelers Team. He sponsored Sims Fuel Company in city leagues in basketball and softball for many years and won many championships. For over 50 years he sponsored Ducks Unlimited.
Blackie was active in many local civic functions as well. He was a race car driver locally and NASCAR from 1946-1956, where he won 19 races. His first win was at the Dude Ranch Racetrack, now Langley Speedway.
In his spare time, Blackie enjoyed the outdoors, particularly hunting, fishing and golfing. He was a loyal Redskins fan for over 46 years and missed only one game in 1979. He was also privileged to attend the first 37 Super Bowls.
Blackie is survived by Betty F. Sims; sons, William “Bill” W. Sims (Peggy) and William Toy Carpenter (Candy); four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2022 at Peninsula Funeral Home. The CDC highly recommends masks for inside gatherings. Interment will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the Wounded Warrior Project.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.