Ronda Lou Sims Corless Profile Photo
1944 Ronda 2024

Ronda Lou Sims Corless

October 19, 1944 — April 10, 2024

Bountiful, UT

Ronda Lou Sims Corless, 79, died Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Bountiful, Utah.  She was born October 19, 1944, at the Sims Hotel in Evanston, WY, and named after her parents, Ronald and Gilda Sims.  Two brothers, Larry and Daniel, welcomed her to their ranch home in nearby Almy.  When Ronda was 2½, her sister Lorna was born.   

A week after her 4th birthday, Ronda came down with polio and within a week could only turn her head.  She had 17 operations that were supposed to help her, all in Salt Lake City.  Some of them worked and some of them did not help.  For all of them she had to stay in the hospital for months (which meant that she was not home for Christmas sometimes).  During her first hospitalization, her brother Michael was born in WY.  Later Ronda got two more sisters, Judy and Karen. 

Initially, the doctors did not think Ronda would ever walk again.  Later she was fitted with braces and used crutches.  When she was in the hospital, she had to keep up with her schoolwork. Instead of feeling sorry for herself about not being able to run and play outside, she learned to play the piano and accordion.  In her high school years, she accompanied a friend who sang at many funerals in Evanston.  She also was active in 4-H and attended 4-H camp every summer from age 10 to 19. 

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ronda was her sense of adventure.  She graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins with a double major--occupational therapy and home economics.  For her first affiliation (internship) in occupational therapy, she drove by herself to Minneapolis, arriving on New Year's Day.  She went on to do affiliations in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Stanford University.  It was during her training in Minneapolis that she met a graduate student from Idaho, John Condie Corless.  They were married in the Logan Utah Temple on March 18, 1969, and returned to Minneapolis for him to finish his PhD in accounting.  While there, Ronda gave birth to the first of their five sons, John Sims Corless.  She was most happy to come home from the hospital with something good to show for it. 

Ronda encouraged her husband to take his first job after graduate school on the East Coast at the University of Connecticut.  Here she had three more sons, Preston, Brady and Andrew.  While living in CT, she learned how to play the organ for Church meetings.  She continued to play the piano for church until the last few weeks of her life.   She also taught early morning seminary and had leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She always did whatever the Lord asked.  

After ten years in CT, John accepted a position at the University of Wyoming.  Ronda eagerly moved to Laramie, where she gave birth to her last son, Justin.   Because of health concerns for both John and Ronda, he later accepted a position at Sacramento State University in California.  Again, Ronda eagerly moved and all enjoyed the swimming pool of their home there.  When the grade school got rid of its music program, she volunteered to bring in her accordion and teach music to the class.   She never let a lack of resources stop her from doing something.  She never gave up.  Instead, she worked hard, believing that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.    

One son, age 16, was incorrectly diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She didn’t freak out or say woe is me; she was calm and just said “we’ll get through this.”  She had to take him to lots of doctor appointments and blood tests after he was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Afterwards she would take him to the Dairy Queen to get a blizzard.  He’s pretty sure they tried every flavor.   

Ronda saw her sons become responsible and capable; all are eagle scouts, served missions, and are university graduates.  She also held additional leadership positions at church and in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  In 2007, she and John were called as missionaries to serve as docents one day a week at the James Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, CA.  They served there until their move to UT.   

In her fifties, Ronda was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome.  This necessitated moving into a wheelchair-friendly house (which she designed) and later moving to Utah into an assisted living facility.  Later, it became impossible for her to travel to see her children and grandchildren.  However, she didn’t let her wheelchair stop her from doing meaningful things.  She always was a good listener and could have a good conversation with anyone.  

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, her five sons and their companions: John Sims (Carrie), Preston Lee (Megan), Brady Reed (Marisa), Andrew Scott (Jenny) and Justin Troy (Kristi Kay), 16 grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, two brothers: Daniel Allen Sims and Michael Jeffrey Sims, and two sisters, Judy Proctor and Karen Faddis.  Her parents, her brother Larry Jay and her sister Lorna Dee and one grandson preceded her in death. 

Her funeral will be held Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. in the Bountiful Tabernacle, 51 South Main Street, Bountiful, Utah, with a viewing preceding from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m.  She will be buried in the Evanston, WY, Cemetery. 

Services will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page.  The live stream will begin about 10-15 minutes prior to the service and will be posted below. 

Those who would like to may make a donation in her honor to Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronda Lou Sims Corless, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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