Kimberly Sue Rollins, 63, of Stonewood, died of complications from multiple sclerosis (MS) at home on Friday, December 18, 2020.
She was born on January 25, 1957, in Grafton, WV, to Julia Isabelle (Stu) and Ted Rollins.
Kim was a 1975 graduate of Grafton High School, Grafton, WV, where she was a popular and active student. As a freshman, she was voted class president and a Homecoming princess. She also was chosen to be a cheerleader for the class tournaments. Kim played Powder Puff football for three years of high school, missing only her junior year because, at the end of her sophomore year, her father was transferred to Cumberland, Maryland, to work there as the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Chessie System. The family moved to Wiley Ford, WV, (across the river from Cumberland, MD) and Kim attended nearby Ridgely High School as a junior. She missed Grafton High School so much that year, however, that she and her mother moved back to Grafton for her senior year where they lived in an apartment above the Rest Haven Nursing Home on McGraw Avenue. Because they had no car in Grafton, Kim and her mom rode the Greyhound Bus home to Cumberland over an often treacherous Route 50 East every weekend.
Kim volunteered as a candy striper at Grafton City Hospital and sang with the youth choir at the Church of the Good Shepherd. With her infectious personality that she maintained throughout her life Kim was always adored in all circles of high school life.
After high school, she attended West Virginia University (WVU) and graduated in 1983. She earned her B.A. in Appalachian Studies, a field of which she was very proud because she always claimed to be “a true Mountaineer” when comparing herself to her siblings who no longer resided in West Virginia. While at WVU Kim immersed herself in “Mountaineer Week” festivities, and because of her love of quilting and cross-stitch, served as chairman of the Arts and Crafts Committee for two years.
The late 1970s was a time of turmoil and change at WVU, and Kim was very much a part of it. She often told stories of riding the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) in its first years and having to get out and crawl along the tracks in a dress and platform shoes because of a malfunction. She also like to brag that she maintained a “Three’s Company” house in Morgantown because there were two girls and one guy, all high school friends, living in their house. During college she worked in part‑time jobs in local businesses such as Dairy Mart, J.C. Penney, and Mont Chateau Lodge. Because oil and gas companies were starting to make an appearance in West Virginia, Kim took a break during college to work for Upshur Agency, a company that negotiated oil and gas leases, where she met her future husband, Ron Dittman.
After returning to college and completing her degree, Kim worked at various jobs before becoming a Claims Adjusterwith State Farm Insurance. It was during her time with State Farm that she was diagnosed with MS, an event that changed the course of her life. Because of the unpredictability of the disease, Kim was able to function on the job for a few years, although she suffered episodes that became more and more frequent and eventually led to her having to stop working. But before stopping work, she and Ron got married in a beautiful ceremony in Grafton and moved to Clarksburg. They were able to travel to Idaho to visit friends from WVU, as well as take a meaningful trip to Michigan to research Ron’s family history and meet his biological family. They also took a camping trip through New England where she got to visit the L.L. Bean Store, one of her favorite shops.
As soon as they moved to Clarksburg, Kim and Ron became members of the First United Methodist Church. They became active at First Church, and soon were hosting a weekly Bible Study at their home. Participants in “Group,” as it came to be known, changed as time went by, but it became a significant part of Kim’s life. At the beginning they met at Kim and Ron’s house on Stanley Avenue in Clarksburg. When she was no longer able to maneuver the steps at that house, they built a house at Catalpa Heights in Stonewood and Group moved with them. Early on they would plan retreats in Canaan Valley twice a year until Kim was no longer able to attend. For over thirty years, Kim has had the support of her wonderful friends from First Church, led by Don Gardner. They were with her when Ron died in 2012, and often they met by her bedside in recent years when she was unable to get up. During COVID, they met in Kim’s garage, socially distanced, with the garage door open. There are no words to describe the love and fellowship that Group provided for Kim.
Kim is survived by her brother, Jeff (Phyllis Marton), and their children, Kari (David Richards and sons Henry and Charlie), Michael, and Jonathan; sister, Cheryl (Sherri) Cohen, and her daughter Maris Cohen; and sister, Beverly (Jack VanDerhei). She is also survived by the two other loves of her life, cats Ginger and Jacob. Over the years, many cats were not only the recipients of Kim’s love and affection, but they also returned as much love as they received. No one loved her cats more than Kim.
Kim was pre-deceased by her husband, Ron; her parents, Julia and Ted Rollins; and two brothers‑in‑law, Mark Cohen and Larry Sheingorn. A brother, Bradley, died in infancy.
Funeral plans are incomplete but will be held virtually through First United Methodist Church of Clarksburg. Burnside Funeral Home will provide a link to the memorial video after it is posted online. She will be buried with Ron at the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton.
Arrangements are under the care of Burnside Funeral Home, Bridgeport.