Obituaries

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.

7 Comments

  1. Zachary Newcomb

    With heavy heart he will be missed! I knew him as my step grandfather and was circling back to see him as I too was a navy man and spent a bit longer time in. I regret not getting to VA sooner to see him. I cherish the memories I have with him and my grandmother as a child and privilege to have known him.

  2. Elaine and Andy Newcomb

    We are so truly sorry to learn of Blackie’s passing. He was a great friend to us for many years and we will always cherish our memories of hunting, fishing and ballgames with him. Here’s to all the laughs and fun times! Our prayers are with him and the family.

  3. Debora Fowler-Zehler

    Dear Blackie,
    I truly enjoyed all the good times John & I spent with you! On the Chickahominy River, going to the Redskins games or going out to dinner, you always loved entertaining your friends and family! & having a good time! I’m going to miss all the stories you shared & coming to see ya at Dominion Village & taking you out for a Frosty or just riding around Williamsburg!
    My enduring love I had for you as my Friend, it was unclear what you remembered anymore, but it was obvious you still knew me!
    Whenever I left seeing you , I knew I had touched your life & spending time with you made a difference – if only for a day or for the moment!
    I feel so empty & loss & I’m going to miss you so Much but I know you are in your final resting place & please tell my John I love & miss him dearly as I will for you, too!
    May you find worthy of your Heavenly love & Protection!
    Rest In Peace my Friend!
    Deb Fowler-Zehler

  4. Butch Pierce

    My thoughts and prayers are with Blackie’s family and friends. We have lost one of the good guys now.
    I have enjoyed Blackie’s company for many years, especially our trips to Myrtle Beach with the golfing guys in the Redskins Motor Home. And not to mention our trips to Redskins games. RIP IN PEACE MY FRIEND.

  5. Beverly & Bobby Sweeney

    Bobby & Beverly Sweeney will truly miss you. We spent lots of wonderful times with you that we will always remember and cherish.

  6. Dan & Janet Jacobs

    Blackie Sims had a passion for life that was contagious. I had the privilege of having him as a friend for more than 50 years.
    Janet and I send our love and sincere condolences to Betty, Toy, Bill and the entire family. Godspeed dear friend.

  7. Lisa Aiken Wrightson

    My dear Uncle Walter! My nieces heart remembers all the best and glory of my sweet uncle. Brother to my dear father. Son to my sweet grandmother. I think of my dear Aunt Betty and her love for her family. I think of all the joy we shared together. I miss those times. I miss how important family was no matter what. I miss Toy and Candy. I miss Bill and Peggy. I miss swimming in the river with my loved ones. I pray you all know how much I still cherish each one of you and our moments in one another’s lives that will last forever. Love and peace to each of you, Lisa

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