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MEEKER | Sandy Shimko of Meeker is this week’s “home of” honoree. Sandy is a Meeker native. Her parents were the late Loren and Lana Idol of Meeker. She met her former husband Joe Shimko when he was working as “a deep test well site geologist in Powell Park.” They were married in 1959 and moved away. They returned to Meeker in 1962 and bought the John Deere dealership from Sandy’s father, Loren E. Idol, in 1973. They renamed the business S&S Equipment Company. They closed the store the summer of 1979 due to the farming crisis. Joe and Sandy divorced that fall.
Sandy moved to Grand Junction in 1979 and then to Arizona in 1989. During that time, she worked as an outside salesperson, an office manager and a rural mail carrier. She earned a two-year archaeology degree from Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., when she was 53.
“I had a 3.94 grade point average. I was ready to study. I loved it. It was great,” Sandy said.
She moved back to Meeker in 1998 to take care of her mother. Sandy worked at Samuelson True Value for a while and started working at the White River Museum in 2001. “I was able to bring mother to work with me. She passed away in 2006,” Sandy explained.
Sandy still works for the museum. She is the museum’s docent (tour guide) and computer operator. “I absolutely love my job at the White River Museum. I love the community, the history of the community and I love preserving the history.”
Sandy has two children. Her son Ken Shimko and his wife Toni live in the Denver area. Ken and Toni have three children: daughter Amber Megel, husband Ryan and 3-year old son Whyatt live in Brush; daughter Jennifer Shimko attends Laramie Junior College in Cheyenne, Wyo.; and son Corwin Shimko and his 3-month old son Ian James Shimko live in Meeker. Sandy’s daughter Susan Grosskopf, husband Bruno and sons Alexander, 13, and Bruno Duncan, 11, live in Bonaire, Ga.
“I love the simpler life in Meeker. The people are friendly. Your hometown is the best place in the world. I raised my kids here and it’s still a good place to raise a family. Only drawback is your kids eventually leave, but they come back,” Sandy concluded.