Patricia Louise Lawson (Sims), age 72, passed away peacefully in the presence of family at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Lawrence, KS. She was born November 17, 1947, in Hamilton, OH to Glenn and Natialene Sims. She was the eldest of five children. She is preceded in death by her parents, Glenn and Natialene Sims and one sister, Elizabeth Seele.
She will be missed greatly by those who knew her well. She is survived by her significant other of 33 years, John Fike; her daughter Lori Kampfer (Martin) of Leawood, KS; her granddaughter Ashley Kampfer (Olivia) of Overland Park, KS; her sisters and brother: Janet Bailey of Topeka, KS; Claudia Smith (Tim) of Lawrence, KS; and Anthony Sims of Lawrence, KS; nine nephews, four nieces, and extended family.
Pat enjoyed many different paths in her life. With each path she found a place to thrive. She spent her early childhood on her family’s farm in Lawrence, KS, and enjoyed visiting her aunt and uncle’s (Clete and Ed Stroda) farm just outside of Lawrence. She moved across Kansas, Colorado, and Indiana with her family. While living in New Castle, IN, her path toward motherhood began. However, she discovered that she was unable to conceive. She adopted 9-month-old Lori in 1972.
In 1974 Pat and Lori moved to Topeka, KS, where she met and married Paul Lawson. She completed cosmetology school and worked for salons in Macy’s and Montgomery Ward. After her divorce from Paul in 1984, she opened a hair salon with her best friend, Carla Young, in downtown Topeka. During this time, she worked at Shenago Lounge in Lawrence as well. She enjoyed representing the lounge in Busch League Pool, playing 8-ball and 9-ball pool, and developed many valuable life-long friendships.
Around 1987, she met John Fike. Her path with John led her to her involvement in vintage dirt track racing. She played an integral role in the organization of the races. She grew to love the racing community and marveled at how good-hearted they were, so of course she fit right in. Over the years she worked with 2 different organizations, focusing on bringing grass roots vintage motorcycle dirt track races to many tracks that still remain intact across the US.
In the years leading up to her retirement, her path changed. She began working at Napa Auto Parts in Lawrence as a driver, taking great pride in her job and helping people in any way she could. She enjoyed and appreciated the people she worked with. She retired in 2014. Living a quiet life with John in Lecompton, KS, suited her quite nicely.
In 2017, she began her final path in life: she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She knew where this path would lead, but never wavered in how she would handle it. No one knew just how tough she would be.
Due to the restrictions of Covid-19 there will be no funeral service. Please celebrate Pat’s life by…..(donating to something, planting a flower, raising a glass in her honor) *one or two of those things.
Messages & Condolences
I didn’t know Pat, but John and I were friends and raced against each other during the KMSA days. I would love to get in touch with him, because I have lost track of him until reading this article.
Condolences and prayers for Lori, Ashley and John. God bless all of you.! 🙏🙏🙏
John and Family, so sorry to hear about Pat. Glad to have met her thru the racing community. Thinking of you.
John,Lori and Ashley I’m sorry for your loss, Pat was always a great person to be around. Wishing all of you the best
So sorry about Patty. We, Suzzette and me, were friends for years, traveling together to races all over the country. Never a dull moment when you hauled with those two. LOL Patty was always ‘up’ for an After Race party, Still miss those days. We’ll be praying for her and John, Lori and ashley.
Im sorry John, May Pat RIP, she was always great to have a conversation with. My condolences go out to John, Lori, and Ashley
God speed Pat! Prayers and thoughts for John, Lori and Ashley.
Even though your Mom, grand-mom was not a personal friend of mine, John Fike has been for the last 50 years. God Bless her, she was the best thing that ever happened to John. I enjoyed meeting her the several times over the years that I did and know that she will be missed immensely by all of you. I will celebrate her life with a donation to the Leavenworth County Humane Society.
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