Born September 27, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, Gisella Warr Sims was the eldest of Louise (Jones) and James Warr’s five daughters. Illinois. She was a graduate of Wendell Phillips H.S. and the Cortez Peters Business School. Following school, she began working. In August of 1960, she married Allen Sims. After the birth of their second daughter the young couple moved to Joliet, where they lived for more than 60 years. Gisella and her family were active and vital members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church during their entire marriage, raising their daughters, Cheryl Janeen (Miller), Cherise Bernadette (Johnson) and Briana Janise Sims. For many years they were members of the Parent Clubs at St. Mary-Sacred Heart / Bishop Blanchette School and St. Francis Academy Band Parents Booster Club.
After years of working at the Joliet Arsenal and Silver Cross Hospital, Gisella was finally able to attend Governor's State University and earned a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. Graduating the same year as Briana graduated from high school, she was able to pursue a career as a substance abuse counselor for, Life Works, Steppingstones, Cornerstone and at the Joliet jail for years. Gisella enjoyed great joy during her life, along with great loss. Gisella survived both of her parents, her husband and two eldest daughters and one of her sisters, Paulette Warr Allen.
After her retirement, Gisella found great joy in daily visits with Briana, reading voraciously, she was a member of Books & Bites Book Club. She loved talking with her grandchildren and spending time with her many close, longtime friends.
After years of enduring a heart condition, along with other health concerns, Gisella suffered a stroke and after nearly three months in the hospital and rehabilitation centers, Gisella died on June 19, 2019 just three months prior to her 80th birthday.
Gisella is survived by her daughter, Briana Sims; two sisters, Susan Warr and Phyllis Warr; six grandchildren, Porschia, Justin (Erica), Jasmine (Jacob) and Jordan Johnson and Cantrell and Chandler Miller; two great-grandchildren (Kingston and Kai’lani); nephews, Ivan, Corey and Brandon Allen and Marc Warr; two sons-in-law, Jeffrey Johnson (Donna) and Louis Miller; three God-daughters, Brenda Jones, Xhosa Burford , Pamela Bates-Ellis and many cousins and a large group of dear friends.