EAST PRAIRIE -- City Administrator Kathie Sue Simpkins, 51, died at 7:20 a.m. July 16, 2006, at her home, following an inspirational hard-fought battle against cancer.
Born April 2, 1955, in Cairo, Ill., daughter of Earl D. and Mary Alice Furlong Simpkins, she chose to spend her life in her hometown, where she was a 1973 graduate of East Prairie High School. In 1978, she graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, where she majored in business administration/marketing management.
Immediately after graduating from the university, she assumed the position of city clerk in East Prairie, a post she held from June 1, 1978 to March 17, 1980, when she became the city administrator. During her tenure as administrator, she was instrumental in securing and administrating over $12 million in state and federal grants for the city.
Responsible for the day-to-day management of her "town," Ms. Simpkins also was instrumental in securing funding for Susanna-Wesley Family Center. She was involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Missouri City Managers Association, and was a member and past chairman of the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission.
She served on the Missouri Economic Development Council and Workforce Investment Board of Southeast Missouri; a member and secretary for both the Mississippi County Industrial Development Authority and Mississippi County Port Authority; she was also a past board member of the Cotton Boll Area Girl Scout Council, from which she was awarded the Thanks Badge, the highest honor given to an adult volunteer.
A member of the First Baptist Church, East Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Mississippi County Interagency/Caring Communities Council, she was honored as East Prairie Woman of the Year, Feb. 12, 2005, when she was cited for her dedication and devotion to her parents, friends, co-workers and hometown.
In addition to her parents, she is survived by five "special" cousins, Paula Byassee, James Furlong, Betty Archie, Mickey Abner and Stephen Abner, all of East Prairie; and a dear friend, Dr. Jimmy Dale Heath.
Visitation will be after 5 p.m. today at Shelby Funeral Home, where services are scheduled at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The Rev. George White, pastor of First Baptist Church, state Rep. Lanie Black and Dr. Jimmy Heath will officiate.
Burial will follow in East Prairie Memorial Park Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers will be: Joe Garner, Danny Lafferty, Bruce Adkinson, Gary Grogan, Jamie Jackson, Ray Givens and Danny Wheatley.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Heath, Steve Secoy, Mike Bryant, Lonnie Thurmond and Gene Ditto.
A memorial fund has been established at First Security State Bank in East Prairie.