Ardell Marie Stratton Sims was born January 27, 1958 to the union of John Henry Stratton and Madie Jean Barber in Shipman, Virginia. She relocated to Brooklyn, New York with the family as a young girl. Ardell was educated in the New York public school system. After graduation from high school, she earned a degree in Business Finance from Marymount Women’s College in Manhattan. She had a twenty-year career as a personal financial banker with Citi Bank in New York prior to her marriage to Reverend Nathaniel Sims, July 22, 1995. The couple relocated to Florida in 1997. She had a short career in banking in Florida prior to her employment with the Florida Department of Children and Families for twenty years until her health began to decline. First Lady Ardell Sims served alongside her husband Reverend Sims at Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church for the past sixteen years supporting the ministry until her health condition made it impossible. She had been active in all areas of the church and outreach ministry including weekly reading of the scriptures prior to her husband’s sermons, teaching Sunday School, rehearsing and directing the youth choir. She was also a member of the Sanctuary choir, Women’s missions, and missionary work. Sister Ardell is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Reverend Sims and three adorable daughters, Aryal, Aryana, and Aryane Sims of Dade City; one stepdaughter, Natalie Sims of St. Albans, New York; one sister Wanda Geraldine Stratton of Queens, New York; three sisters-in-law, Mary Isabel Harris (Henry), Johnnie Ruth Griffin both of Brooksville, Florida, and Dr. Sharon Vickers – Cook (David) of Spring Hill, Florida; three brothers, Daren Stratton and Josh Edward Mingo (Wakecia) of New York and John Henry Stratton, Jr. of Lynchburg, Virginia; one brother-in-law, Jerome Griffin Sr. (Sheila) of Kissimmee, Florida; one aunt, Barbara Barber; one special nephew, Anthony Voss of New York and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and friends.
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