Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

Carman Pimms, beloved leader of The Campbell Farm in Wapato, Washington, dies at age 58

At her death, she was nearly ready for ordination as a commissioned pastor in the PC(USA)

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Carman Pimms

LOUISVILLE — Carman Pimms, who for the last several years was the executive director at The Campbell Farm, a retreat center in Wapato, Washington, died in her sleep on Saturday, according to information provided by Campbell Farm board president Michael Friedline. Pimms, a member of the Yakama Nation, was 58.

A service honoring her life was held Monday at the Wapato Longhouse.

Friedline told Northwest Coast Presbytery, which includes The Campbell Farm, that Pimms’ “active ministry” served children in need in and around Wapato, which is about 13 miles south of Yakima in south-central Washington. Her “foundation programs,” according to Friedline, were After-School Adventure and Summer Day Camp, where she’d work with up to 50 children ages 7-17 to provide homework assistance, recreational and Native cultural activities, counseling, feeding and general nurturing.

“As she and her team worked with the kids,” Friedline told the presbytery, “they also connected with parents, grandparents and school personnel to ensure coordination — all for the benefit and growth of the children.”

She was a certified doula and assisted in several births. In addition, she pulled together three health service organizations to staff a clinic at Campbell Farm called Ttwaxit to monitor the health and wellness of young women during and after their pregnancy.

During the pandemic, Pimms and her team “took over the school feeding program,” Friedline wrote, delivering meals throughout the greater Wapato area. “In the process, she saw many elders suffering from food insecurity and many homeless camping,” Friedline wrote, “so she raised private funds to feed them all. She and her team would make over 300 meals four days a week and then deliver them throughout the community.”

Many congregations in the presbytery have been introduced to The Campbell Farm by sending their young people for a week of adventure in service learning, Friedline wrote. “Carman always made time to lead a daily spiritual reflection and debrief experiences,” Friedline wrote.

At the time of her death, Pimms was nearing completion of her studies to become a commissioned pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), according to Friedline. Her vision for ministry was “to continue to grow the influence of the Farm as a place of love, safety and support for the people in her community,” Friedline wrote. “Focused first on the children, Carman looked creatively for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love and abiding care for everyone.”

“This friend, mother, grandmother, auntie, sister and mentor leaves us all in great sadness for her sudden absence,” Friedline wrote. “We rejoice in her strong and vibrant faith and the promise that we will see her again.”

According to Pimms’ obituary, Carmanita Atwi Ila Anahoy Pimms was born to Reta Ann (Pimms) Stevens and Frankie Stevens (Llyod Berry) on June 16, 1963. “Ever since she was young, she was everyone’s caretaker,” her obituary states.

She worked for several years as the food service manager at the Yakama Nation Tribal School in Toppenish, Washington, where students would come by to share their stories with her. After that, The Campbell Farm “became her home, where she built a strong community outreach program,” her obituary states. “It was Carman’s passion to create a place where everyone felt welcome and safe regardless of where they came from. She never turned anyone away.”

She’ll “forever be known for her infectious laugh, her passion for cooking, shoes and lipstick.”

According to her obituary, Pimms is survived by her companion, Julius Sims; son Jamaal Pimms, daughter Dionna Bennett (Peter), son Julius Kurt Hill (BJ), daughter Charity Sims, daughter Jamisha Sims (Robert), daughter Janel Pimms,  and bonus daughter Tamiko Berry; grandchildren Rocky, Kenny, Nas, Onna, Zariel, Lo, Lee, Mya, Yanni, Zuli, Cass, Maarqqus, CJ, Zya, Maree, Jaydee, NeiNei; her sisters, Dorothy Winnier, Antonia Stevens, Gina Stevens, Trina Stevens, Tamera Stevens, Larena Van Pelt (Shawn); brother Llyod Berry Jr.; her mother-in-law Mary Ann Sims; aunts Anita Swan (Tom), Suplikawai, Percy Blackwolf and uncles George (Esther) and Leroy Berry; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Reta and Frankie Stevens, and her father Llyod Berry; her maternal grandparents, Meda and Raymond Pimms Sr.; and her paternal grandparents, Watson and Tilda Totus.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.