Candace S. Simms, director of public housing and devout Episcopalian, dies – Baltimore Sun

Candace S. Simms, who worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for five decades and was a longtime community activist and communicator at St. James’s Episcopal Church, died of cancer on May 28. August at the Gilchrist Center Baltimore. The Ashburton resident was 72 years old.

“Candy and I were friends and colleagues in public service,” said former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who is now president of the University of Baltimore. “She was so dedicated to HUD, not just to Baltimore but to other cities across the country. She truly believed in public service and that HUD could have a huge impact on the quality of life in cities.

Rheba G. Gwaltney was a close friend and colleague of HUD for 40 years.

“As a person, Candace was unwavering, very disciplined and had a strong work ethic and cared for the needs of those she served,” said Ms Gwaltney, who retired in 2012 as the lender-supervisor of the HUD’s single-family housing program. “She was fair as a supervisor and as an administrator, but she had a light side and a sense of humor, and believed in doing uplifting things.”

Candace Lisette Scott, daughter of Ronald David “Dave” Scott, a supervisor at what was then the U.S. Post Office, and Elsie Lee Brady Scott, an educator who worked with the deaf and hard of hearing, was born in Baltimore and grew up on Ruxton Avenue in the Coppin Heights neighborhood and later moved with his family to Sequoia Avenue in Ashburton.

After graduating in 1967 from Western High School, Ms. Simms earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in physics in 1971 from what was then known as Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and earned a 1972 master’s degree in economics from Tufts University.

After graduating from Tufts, Ms. Simms began an internship with HUD, and upon completion of her master’s degree, she was hired as a housing development branch analyst at HUD’s Boston field office. There, she held various positions until 1975, when she was transferred to the agency’s Baltimore office to take a position in housing branch programs.

While in Baltimore, she was promoted to head of the housing programs branch, and in 1986 was named director of the housing development division.

“In 1998, Ms. Simms was promoted to director of public housing where she managed the Maryland and West Virginia Public Housing Program Center (“PC”) in the office of the Baltimore Public Housing Hub,” according to a family biographical profile of Ms. Simms. “She provided administration and technical direction of public housing subsidy programs to 62 housing agencies in the states of Maryland and West Virginia.”

Ms. Simms joined a nationwide HUD review team providing assessments to housing authorities across the United States. This detail led to several other local housing agency reviews that required trips to Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois. She remained in this role from 1998 to 2008.

The highlight of her HUD career was at the agency’s national headquarters in Washington from 2008 until her death, where she served as HUD’s Indian and Public Housing Program Liaison Specialist, Office of Field Operations .

After the pandemic began, she transitioned to situational telecommuting at the Baltimore field office then permanently telecommute from her Ashburton residence, where she and her husband of 49 years, Stuart “Stu” Simms, an attorney, who was the former Baltimore State Attorney and Secretary of Public Safety and Human Services minors, had lived for more than 40 years. years.

The couple met on a blind date in 1967 when he was a student at Gilman School and she at Western. The date led to a years-long relationship that continued through high school, college, and graduate school, and culminated in their marriage in 1973.

“I was blessed to have him by my side for 49 years,” Mr Simms said.

Mr Schmoke said: ‘Candy and Stu were a big love affair in Baltimore.’

Mrs. Simms was a lifelong devoted Episcopalian.

She was an active communicator of St. James’s Episcopal Church for 70 years, where she began worshiping there with her parents as a young girl. When she returned to Baltimore from Boston in 1975, she recommitted to the Lafayette Square Church.

She was a member of the Fellowship of St. Francis Guild where she enjoyed supporting the efforts of youth and young adults in St. James. She was a member of the rectors search committee that brought in Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, who is now the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, at St. James where he served as rector from 1988 to 2000.

Ms. Simms has served on the church’s finance and audit committees and served as editor of the parish’s monthly newsletter. She also chaired the Discernment Committee that mentored seminary students on congregational care and church administration during later phases of their seminary work.

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She has also served at the diocesan level of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and on various auxiliary and standing committees aimed at developing the discernment process for aspiring Episcopal priests.

For many years, she served on the advisory board of the Children’s Guild, Episcopal Social Ministries, and the former Liberty Medical Center Urban Medical Institute. She was also a member of the executive committee and treasurer of the Western High School’s 50th Class Reunion of 1967 and was a member of the planning team for its upcoming 55th.

One of Ms. Simms’ cornerstones was her strong support for women’s leadership development. She was inducted into The Harbor City chapter of The Links Inc., an international non-profit women’s service organization, established in 1946. She has held several positions within the chapter, including president.

“The ties were very important to her,” Mr. Schmoke said. “She was a true leader in her spiritual way. She and Stu were quiet people. They were never loud but got things done.

Mrs. Simms enjoyed visiting her grandchildren, attending the symphony and traveling with her husband to different cities to see her former childhood friend and classmate, actress Anna Deavere Smith, perform in off-screen productions. Broadway, family members said. Other interests included mid-Atlantic outlet shopping and beach vacations with family and friends.

A family hour and organizational services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at his church at West Lafayette and North Arlington Avenues, with a Resurrection Mass to be offered at noon.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Simms is survived by two sons, Marcus Simms of Marietta, Georgia, and Paul Simms of Nashville, Tennessee, and two grandchildren.

Luz W. German