Rina May Hart Carlen-Sims went home into the arms of God on Sunday, November 25th, 2018, at the age of 85 years, surrounded by family. She was born in Bakersfield, CA, on March 24, 1933. Her parents, Lloyd and Virginia, owned a grocery store and Hart’s Drive In, where she was a carhop, along with her sister, Vanessa. Her brother, Bobby, was a football player at Madera High. Rina wore her crown proudly as the first Miss Madera and her love of sparkle never left her. Along with her girls, Robin and Laurel, Rina loved art, reading, theater, and travel, and she found great pleasure in reading stories to local school children, many whom called her “Noni”. She was a gifted artist who leaves behind her beautiful artwork.
Rina wrote this quote that was found by her daughters after she passed, in one of the many books she loved: “Use the gifts you have been given! Paint, sculpt, every day no matter what.” She will be remembered for the lessons she taught us, for her kindness to so many people whose lives she touched, and her sense of humor, even during years of illness. Rina is survived by her loving husband Walt Sims, her two daughters, Robin Carlen and Laurel Carlen Rowe, and by Laurel’s children, Taran, A.J. and Tori Rowe, who were the apple of her eye, along with Walt’s daughters, Connie Werolin, Pattie Rodriguez, Joan Sanchez, and Karrie Sims, and “too many grandchildren to count!”
A special thank you to the wonderful staff of Hollister Hospice, who were so kind, caring and loving during the last 9 months of Rina’s life and to Darlene Monroe, a loving friend and care giver who was such a blessing to Rina and family during a very difficult time. A service will be held at South Valley Church in Hollister on Saturday, December 15th, at 11:30 a.m. Anyone who loved her, or whose life she touched, is welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Diabetes Association, Friends of the San Benito County Free Library, or the San Benito County Arts Council.
Courtesy of Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Funeral Home